The temptation of tyranny – Washington haldol Times

So, when it came time to craft a new government here, the drafters of the constitution, led by jefferson’s friend james madison, made certain that there would be no king. Congress would write the laws. The president would enforce them. The judiciary would interpret them. This separation of powers is what the late justice antonin haldol im scalia called the most unique and effective aspect of american haldol im government.

For starters, madison feared the accumulation of too much power in any haldol im one branch of the government. With the exception of the uniqueness and violence of the haldol im civil war, for 130 years, the branches remained within their confines. For that matter, the federal government did so as well.

Congresses and presidents accepted the madisonian view that the federal haldol im government could only do what the constitution affirmatively authorized them haldol im to do, and all remaining governmental tasks would be addressed by the haldol im states. This, too, was part of madison’s genius in order to impede the concentration of too haldol im much power in the hands of too few.

All that changed when a former professor of constitutional law haldol im — who was not a lawyer — entered the white house. Woodrow wilson believed and behaved as though congress could legislate haldol im on any problem for which there was a national political haldol im will, except that which was expressly prohibited by the constitution.

At the same time that wilson was turning the constitution haldol im on its head, he was also signing legislation that created the agencies of haldol im the administrative state. These agencies, he argued, should be filled with experts in their fields — the food and drug administration, the federal trade commission, to name a few — because experts would bring better government.

The agencies were authorized to write regulations that have the haldol im power of law, to enforce those regulations and to interpret them. This slippage of constitutional authority to creatures alien to the haldol im constitution — which branch of government are they in? — masked a parallel slippage of power from congress to the haldol im presidency.

The constitution does not authorize any emergency powers; nevertheless, the war powers resolution lets the president fight any war haldol im for 90 days without congressional authorization, even though the constitution makes clear that only congress can haldol im declare war. Other national emergency statutes give presidents short-term near-dictatorial powers — like imposing taxes by calling them tariffs — without defining what is an emergency.

Scalia railed against all this — and the U.S. Supreme court often struck down power transfers from congress to haldol im the president. It did so not to preserve the institutional integrity of haldol im congress but to uphold the principle of the separation of haldol im powers that madison crafted as a bulwark against tyranny. The constitutional allocation of power among the branches is not haldol im for them to alter.

Its equilibrium was intended to maintain tension and even jealousy haldol im among the branches — and thereby undergird personal liberty. Madison’s articulated fear was “a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same” branch. Scalia called this gradual concentration of power in the presidency haldol im a wolf in sheep’s clothing that became a bare naked wolf.

After years of faithless congresses legally but unconstitutionally ceding power haldol im to the presidency, we have arrived where we are today — a president who spends unappropriated funds, raises taxes, defies courts and changes immigration laws on his own. I have written before that the republicans who rejoice in haldol im this will weep over it when a democrat is in haldol im the white house. No president should have unconstitutional powers.

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