A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘congress’

The Federal Scheme to Destroy Father-Child Relationships

by Jake Morphonios

war on fathersCongress would feign admit its own dubious contribution to the suffering of America’s children. Rather, these politicians promulgate the myth that they are helping children through federal and state welfare entitlement programs. It is, in fact, these very programs which are responsible for the out of control rampage against children. Here is how the scam works.

The federal government levies taxes against citizens to redistribute as welfare entitlements among needy applicants. Congress created the Social Security Act, a section of which is called Title IV. Title IV describes how tax dollars will be distributed among the States to subsidize their individual welfare programs. In order for States to tap into the federal treasure chest, containing billions of dollars, they must demonstrate that they are complying with Title IV mandates to collect child support revenues. In other words, to get money from the federal government, each State must become a child support collection and reporting agency.

stress single motherEvery unwed or single mother seeking welfare assistance must disclose on her application the identities of the fathers of her children and how much child support the fathers have been ordered by a family court to pay. She must also commit to continuously reporting the father’s payments so that the State can count the money as “collected” to the federal government’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. As with all bureaucracies, this process has developed into a monstrosity that chews up and spits out the very people it was designed to help.

dollar bondageStates have huge financial incentives to increase the amount of child support it can report to the federal government as “collected”. To increase collection efforts, States engage in the immoral practice of dividing children from their fathers in family courts. Have you ever wondered why family courts award custody to mothers in 80%-90% of all custody cases, even when the father is determined to be just as suitable a parent? It is because the amount of child support ordered by the State is largely determined by how much time the child spends with each parent. This means that the State “collects” less child support if parents share equal custody. By prohibiting fathers from having equal custody and time with their children, the State’s child support coffers are increased and federal dollars are received.

obamas new dealOpponents try to paint loving fathers as “deadbeat dads” for daring to challenge the mother-take-all system of family law. This is nothing more than diversionary propaganda. The concern of fathers is not that they are unwilling to support their children financially. This is not an argument against paying child support. Any father that cares about his child will do everything in his power to provide for the child. The concern is, rather, that children are being separated from their fathers by family courts because the State stands to reap huge financial rewards as a result of the father’s loss of custody. The higher the order of child support, the more money the State can collect – even if the amount ordered by the court far exceeds the reasonable needs of the child or if the father is required to take second and third jobs to keep up with outrageous support orders and escape certain incarceration. The truth is that most fathers don’t care about the financial aspects of these family court verdicts nearly as much as they care about having their time with their children eliminated for nefarious government purposes.

The root of this evil is a State-level addiction to federal tax dollars being doled out as entitlement monies by a monolithic federal government. In the wake of this horror are millions of children drowning for lack of the care, guidance, and companionship of their fathers. Statistics and empirical evidence universally confirm that children forcibly separated from their fathers by family courts are considerably more likely to suffer anxiety and depression, develop drug addiction, engage in risky sexual activity, break the law, and commit suicide. This travesty must end.

homelessUnconstitutional federal bureaucracy creates many of the societal ills it claims to be trying to solve. There are several steps incremental steps that could be taken to restore a child’s right to the companionship of both parents. For example, citizens should insist that States abide by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. No father should be automatically deprived of his fundamental right to the custody of his children without due process of law. Being a male is not a crime. Absent a finding of true danger from a parent, family courts should order shared parenting rights and equal time sharing for divorcing parents. These rights are fundamental and should not be abridged. The automatic presumption of custody-to-the-mother is unconstitutional.

whippedThe history of America is brim with examples of the federal government denying basic rights to its citizens. Women were denied the right to vote until the women’s suffrage movement secured the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Black Americans also were denied the right to vote and suffered myriad other cruel and humiliating indignities under the law until the civil rights movement brought about desegregation, put an end to Jim Crow legislation and compelled the enactment of the 15th and 24th Amendments to the Constitution. In each of these examples, society was slow to recognize that a problem even existed or that some of our laws were unjust. It took considerable time, concerted effort, self-sacrifice and perhaps even divine providence to realign concurrent societal paradigms with the principles of liberty and justice for all.

Our generation is not exempt from similar assaults on liberty. While many just causes may stake claims for redress of grievances, one group, more than any other, pleads for immediate support. The need to defend the rights of this group of American citizens, reeling from the unjust consequences of state-sponsored oppression, is before us. It is time to stand up for the rights of children and demand their equal access to both parents.

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Obama & New Police Reform

reposted from Canada Free Press by Moody Jim Rathbone

Obama police flagMayors and city councils—in office largely courtesy of public apathy—are President Barack Obama’s boots on the ground in the ongoing, carefully orchestrated racial riots coming soon to a city near you. In their bid to rescue America from total Marxist eclipse, patriots, as it turns out, have been knocking on the wrong door.

Republicans, who surrendered to the Democrats even after taking over House and Senate in last Midterm elections, have no dog in the racial riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities, but Mayor Stephanie Rowlings-Blake, who ordered a police stand down in Baltimore, and a bevy of other Democrat mayors, do.

With the undercover help of activist municipal mayors and councils, Obama seeks not to reform the nation’s police—but to totally replace them.

obamas new dealWhile diverting public attention by snubbing senators, and overriding both Constitution and Congress, Obama is now hammering the final nail in the Fundamental Transformation of America coffin.

It’s a mission aided and abetted by mercenary ‘civil rights‘ activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and one largely conducted out of sight with White House help.

Local civic elections consistently have the lowest voter turnout, yet represent the level of government that poses the biggest threat to liberty and freedom. It is through complicit mayors and councils that the United Nations has been able to forge the road to Agenda 21 for all of Western society. here

As incredible as it may seem, it is with the cooperation of municipal politicians that Obama will get to replace every police force in the United States with a more military styled one that is answerable only to him.

Baltimore riots 1‘We the People’ should have seen Baltimore and Ferguson coming on July 2, 2008, when Obama boasted in Colorado Springs, CO:  “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Most assumed he was talking about the military, which he soon began to hollow out.

Few realized the most anti-American president ever elected had his sight fixed on replacing thousands of police forces across the country, whose job it has always been to keep the public peace, with his own military-style police.

It’s the return of Fidel Castro, only this time in America.

By ridding the nation of its traditional police forces, Obama and his army of activist municipal politicians will be tossing into the trash can first responders who happen to wear the Serve & Protect badge.

Getting there has been Marxist Community organizing all the way.

Scott-police-fatal-shootingFirst came the smear job spreading the fallacy that police deliberately profile only young blacks, and are addicted to the habit of randomly shooting them. Marxist propaganda leaves the disingenuous impression that racist rogue cops dominate most police forces.

Within days of the Baltimore riots, Obama made it clear he wouldn’t be surveying the damage; wouldn’t be lifting a finger to call for calm.

He didn’t have to with the mayor doing his dirty work.

Baltimore riot policeOne hundred police officers were injured in the Baltimore riots. Businesses up and running only the day before were left in burnt-out rubble, facts carelessly written off by Obama.

Obama’s reaction to what’s going on in Baltimore has been expressed in words as casual as they are well crafted:

“The communities in Baltimore that are having these problems now are no different from the communities in Chicago when I first started working” as a community organizer, Obama said. “I’ve seen this movie too many times before.” (National Journal, April 29, 2015)

The difference now is that it’s Obama directing the racial riot movie.

With the Republicans snoozing at the switch, and most unsuspecting folk not knowing that Obama’s boots on the ground are the municipalities, what’s going to stop him from accomplishing his latest mission?

debtor's prison - tyrannyObama counts on the same kind of apathy that dogs municipal elections about racial riots that are being staged, right down to including outside protesters being rushed in to the scene of the riots.

Like in televised episodes of Hill Street Blues, when the Black Arrows, Shamrocks and Los Diablos came together when there was something in it for them, the Bloods, the Crips and the Nation of Islam came together in Baltimore.

That coming together of the three parties was unprecedented.

Yet, instead of asking why the Bloods, the Crips and the Nation of Islam would come together during the Baltimore riots, Rowlings-Blake thanked the Nation of Islam.

Talk show radio giant and patriot Mark Levin points out that Rowlings-Blake was in constant touch with chief Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett throughout the riots.

gas canBy throwing gasoline on the racial discord gathering steam in American cities, is Obama sending a message to America’s foreign enemies that the U.S. is now at its most vulnerable for a strike?

Are internet commenters like Richard Jackson who posits: “I think the riots are simply programming people to get used to a military presence (instead of police) and curfews, etc. for something bigger later on”, on the right track?

Should edgy folk be watching the Jade Helm 15 large-scale military exercise to be played out from July 15 to November 15, across seven states, with thousands of locals “participating or role playing in the exercise” wearing I.D. markings be watching the military instead of passively letting the military watch them?

Meanwhile, speaking to a group of schoolchildren at the Anacostia Library in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Obama said he might return to community organizing.

In truth, his plans to nationalize America’s police forces, prove he’s never left it.

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police Baltimore letter

Walter Scott and the Need for Child Support Reform

by Joy Moses

Scott-police-fatal-shootingWalter Scott’s death was striking because a police officer fired eight shots at him while his back was turned. When something so tragic occurs, observers tend to wonder why. The officer’s actions and utter disrespect for human life can never be justified. But recently, the New York Times published new information about Scott’s split second decision to run — his child support case. According to his brother, “Every job he has had, he has gotten fired from because he went to jail because he was locked up for child support.”

Elements of Scott’s story reflect existing concerns about the child support system. A debate over potential large-scale reform is more than a decade overdue. The seeming impossibility of change has always loomed ominously large, overshadowing calls for reform and pushing them into the dark corners of the policy world. However, at this current political moment, there are national conversations about policing, bipartisan criminal justice reforms and an existing White House initiative focused on men and boys of color — concepts that would have seemed laughable just a few short years ago.

indigent in America

child support can make a man indigent

There are some fathers who absolutely refuse to care for their children and they should be held accountable. However, the current system reaches well beyond that group, creating negative consequences for men who are rarely credited with being caring parents and are simply too poor to pay. The political explosiveness of the “deadbeat dad,” a figure that some researchers say sprang out of the same sources as his female counterpart (the “welfare queen”), helped distort the foundations of child support policy. The system seems to partially rest on underlying beliefs that low-income men, and especially those who are black, avoid work and financially providing for their children at all costs while also being permanently childlike and in need of both discipline and lessons on how to behave.

Over the years, the program has effectively served many families (transferring funds from one parent to another) for which it should be applauded. However, policies built on a foundation of stereotypes about numerous men who don’t want jobs stand in stark contrast to the reality of numerous jobs that don’t want the men. Researchers like William Julius Wilson (More Than Just Race), have documented decades long trends of disappearing job opportunities for low-skilled workers as well as increased criminal justice involvement which further leads to employment discrimination.

billboard-crimeWhen entities spend significant time on activities that fail to help and that actually hurt parents and families, it’s often useful to redirect their energies elsewhere. Reforms should shift the program mission and values away from damaging racial stereotypes that hurt families of all races and towards efforts to accurately diagnose the needs of families and take ‘pro-social’ action to address them.

One useful primary goal would be to comprehensively address the family law needs of low and middle-income families, helping with a very real challenge — the increasing and extraordinarily large number of families who can’t afford an attorney or who don’t feel comfortable representing themselves in legal matters. In doing so, agencies should assume that parents of all racial and class groupings share in a desire to care for their children, suggesting that they be treated with respect and provided with quality customer service. This would build upon efforts to accurately identify bad dads whose non-payment is rooted in an adamant refusal rather than their economic circumstances.

chronic-stressWith such a vision, services would start to look much different. No longer treated as enemies of the state, low-income fathers would be less likely to literally and figuratively run away from child support. The sole focus wouldn’t be on a father’s monetary value but on improving father-family relationships. Court decisions and unaddressed legal needs would be replaced by model practices like mediation that support mothers and fathers in making their own decisions for their families. Punishments like imprisonment would be replaced by employment assistance. And other proposed reforms designed to guarantee child support for women and children would avoid potential incentives to hound men for unaffordable reimbursements of funds states pay out to women and children.

Some states have already experimented with such reforms, finding positive results that have included increased child support payments by fathers and greater parental satisfaction with agency services. The Obama Administration has encouraged states to adopt these best practices while proposing helpful new rules. However, there are limits to the changes that can occur without Congress overhauling currently existing state requirements and incentives.

We need a fruitful, progressive conversation that abandons a focus on the status quo and reform efforts that toy around existing edges — instead choosing a new vision for the future that endeavors to do the hard work of changing the culture and functioning of a system that means so much to so many.

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Of course, there is no mention in this article about U.N. Treaty or the Bradley Amendment, which prohibits child support arrears from being changed or removed – but the article does pretend to care (and is much kinder than I am). Meanwhile, the welfare queens still have control over America at great cost to all Americans. – MJR

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Web of Inquisitional U.S. Law Creating Criminals

we the peopleFor decades, Washington D.C. has been adding to the number of federal laws and regulations that carry criminal penalties. Now the number is so high, no one is actually sure how many there are. Experts say practically anyone could be convicted of some sort of federal crime. And it’s all too easy for anyone to violate one of these laws and never know it. Congress has made it dangerous just to be alive in America, never mind whether you are guilty or not. Like federal child support laws, it’s all a matter of inquisition. Common law is dead.

The truth is that anyone can fall prey to overcriminalization. Civil rights have become secondary to the Rule of Law and I don’t mean Common Law. This law certainly isn’t your grandfathers law. [protected] Legal misadventures happened to racing legend Bobby Unser beginning in 1996. Unser went snowmobiling in the Rio Grande National Forest on the border of New Mexico and Colorado.

He and a friend got caught in a blizzard and were stranded for two days and two nights. They barely escaped with their lives. But that was only the beginning of his ordeal. “Bottom line: Don’t trust any government agency,” he warned. “Stand as clear from them as you can. Stay away from them because they’re not there for your good.”

Unser found himself in the middle of a fight with the U.S. Forest Service, facing a possible $5,000 fine and six months in jail for violating The Wilderness Act. The agency accused him of illegally snowmobiling on federally protected land known as “wilderness area.” The racing champ claimed that even if he was in the wilderness area, it was only when he was lost in the snowstorm. With money in the bank and the idea of principle, Unser decided to fight the charge in court.

“Well, I estimate that we probably spent around $300,000, maybe $350,000 would be my guess,” Unser said. As for the government, they spent millions of dollars in their efforts for prosecute Unser. “At the time we went to court, they’d already spent up somewhere around a million dollars. What – it’s the taxpayers money. They didn’t really care how much it cost,” he said.

In the end, he lost and paid a $75 fine. Now the three-time Indy 500 winner has another title to add to his record: He’s been convicted of a federal misdemeanor for getting lost in the wilderness.

Like many others, Unser blames Congress and the men that run it for the growing number of federal laws.

But it’s not just lawmakers who are at fault. Federal agencies not only enforce the laws, but write their own regulations which also carry criminal penalties. With government involved in everything from the environment to employment to health, anyone can easily get caught in the web of federal laws. The numbers prove it. Between 2000 and 2010, close to 800,000 people were sentenced for federal crimes.

Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican – Texas is among a few lawmakers on Capitol Hill sounding the alarm about the disturbing phenomenon, saying that Congress should re-think stiff penalties on simple accounting errors when filing taxes. In the past 20 or 30 years the number of people in jails and prisons in American has gone up almost tenfold because every time you turn around there are new laws.

One solution is for the House Judiciary Committee to oversee any new regulation that carries a criminal penalty, but this may be akin to having another fox to watch the hen house. The attitude behind the penalties is that Congress wants to appear to be tough on crime, including doubling up where state law is sufficient. It wastes money and doesn’t reduce crime. Orwell’s classic book “1984” states the case where fear is predominant and the violation of federal law is likely. There isn’t enough public awareness or outrage! Sadly, this is already because of fear.
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Because You Never Know What Stupid Rule is Coming

by Simon Black

schoolhouse rockWhen I was a kid, I remember watching that Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about how a bill becomes a law. That single cartoon probably brainwashed three generations of children into believing in the checks and balances fantasy of the US federal government.

The reality is what we see everywhere today– self-regulating, self-legislating executive agencies with nearly unlimited scope and authority. Even the most mundane offices within the Fish and Wildlife Service can confiscate people’s private property without any judicial oversight.

These agencies can also conjure new rules out of thin air, all on their own, that have the same weight and effect as laws. In fact, Regulations.gov shows that there have been nearly 500 newly posted regulations or proposals just in the last week… and roughly 6,000 over the past 90-days. Truly mind-numbing.

One of these new proposals has come from our friendly neighborhood regulators at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

As you’re probably aware, FinCEN is a bureau of the Treasury Department that overseas the ridiculous post-9/11 regulatory environment; there are oodles of regulations that have obliged bankers to nitpick every last detail of new customers’ lives when someone wants to open an account.

These requirements are called “KYC” or “Know Your Customer” rules… but in actuality, they have nothing to do with knowing your customer. Knowing your customer is sitting down and having a chat… talking about their families, their kids, their life experiences. The same sort of stuff you’d do if you were getting to know anyone in general.

KYC policies, on the other hand, are nothing more than burying customers under mountains of paperwork and forcing them to jump through ridiculous administrative hoops for the sake of “the folks upstairs in the compliance department.”

The net effect is that it’s more difficult to open any form of financial account, just about everywhere in the world. Naturally, they claim it’s all for the benefit of ‘fighting terrorism,’ but this is total nonsense.

Making bank customers submit to reams of paperwork ‘fights terrorism’ about as much as fondling little old ladies at the airport… or authorizing the military detention of US citizens on US soil.

Yet in a 37-page draft released only days ago, FinCEN spelled out new requirements that it intends to implement in order to ‘fight terrorism’. The agency attacked everything from financial intermediaries to nominee managers and shareholders, to the use of shelf companies.

FinCEN’s proposed changes would increase the burden, not only to financial institutions, but also to customers opening new accounts.

For example, FinCEN wants all new customers to explicitly forecast what the monthly inflows and outflows will be when opening an account. Any deviation from this forecast will require the banker to submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).

Now, anyone who has ever started a business knows that forecasts are for finance wonks. It’s extraordinarily difficult for entrepreneurs (or investors, for that matter) to make accurate predictions, especially for startups. There’s simply too much uncertainty.

Needless to say, it’s unlikely that anyone at FinCEN making up these rules has ever run a business before. In their bubble reality, everyone should be able to accurately forecast bank balances, and anything to the contrary is ‘suspicious’.

The really crazy part about all of this is that FinCEN has the authority to implement these rules all on its own. There will be no Congressional Debate, no Presidential signature… simply a short waiting period until the final version is published in the Federal Register and becomes part of the Code.

Afterwards, they’ll push the same rules down the throats of every major banking jurisdiction around the world, making it much more onerous to open a bank account anywhere.

Opening a foreign bank account is perhaps the single most important first step in international diversification. It moves a portion of your savings abroad to a jurisdicition overseas that your thieving home government does not control. It can diversify your money out of a failing currency… and most importantly, the foreign bank might actually be solvent!

FinCEN is taking steps to make it much more difficult.

The sheer volume of so many new regulations, and the velocity with which they are spawned, should be a stark reminder that the time to take action is now. Tomorrow may bring yet another stupid rule that will make it more difficult, or impossible, to do what you’ve been putting off today.

You Don’t Need Permission to Exercise Your Rights

captiveToday, thousands of Americans are being oppressed by unconstitutional law. The grandfather of all unconstitutional law was originally created by Abraham Lincoln in 1861 when he authored executive orders, followed by amendments and surrounding laws that were designed to work around those amendments, in many cases against the very people the amendments were designed to protect. This has been further eroded by international banking interests and the bankruptcy of the United States in 1933. All modern law, including clever behind-the-scenes moves to take advantage of this law, follow in this path. An insidious power lies behind the evidence. There is a real solution where this law encroaches upon the state and its corporations. That solution is state nullification. State nullification of federal law has a real history. There is constitutional legitimacy behind the idea and it can be used today to fight the encroachment of federal power.

Nullification is a states’-rights doctrine written by Thomas Jefferson in 1798 in The Kentucky Resolutions, which were written to protest the passage by the Federalist Congress against the Alien and Sedition Acts. Under the nullification concept, states can refuse to recognize a federal law passed by Congress if the federal government overstepped its constitutional authority in passing the legislation.

In 1798, Jefferson explained that the states shaped the federal government and ratified the Constitution, so they have the power to determine whether the federal government is abiding by the Constitution. He warned the states to be alert against violation of the Constitution and not to hesitate to strike down unconstitutional legislation by Congress or the president. He wrote:

“Resolved, that the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government … and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. … that the government created by this compact [the U.S. Constitution] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; … that this would be to surrender the form of government we have chosen, and live under one deriving its powers from its own will, and not from our authority; … and that the co-States, recurring to their natural right in cases not made federal, will concur in declaring these acts void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shall be exercised within their respective territories.

Likewise, in the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, the fourth U.S. president, James Madison, argued that the states are “duty bound to resist” when the federal government violates the Constitution.

For example, two dozen American states nullified the REAL ID Act of 2005.  Nullification initiatives of all kinds, involving the recent health care legislation, cap and trade and the Second Amendment are real.

  • The Health Care Nullification Act declares the Obama health law is not authorized by the Constitution, violating its true meaning and intent as given by the founders.  According to the act, this healthcare law of Obama is rejected, declared to be invalid and will be considered null and void.
  • The Food Freedom Act is a response to the Food Safety and Modernization Act declaring that food grown and produced in a state, when sold in the state, is beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce.
  • Legislation to protect the right of the people to be secure in “their persons, houses, papers, and effects” is in response to increased Transportation Security Administration measures forced upon Americans at airports – including naked body scanners, and invasive pat-downs.
  • 10th Amendment bills or state sovereignty measures and resolutions have been introduced around the nation since 2008.
  • Federal Tax Funds Act, or laws requiring federal taxes to be paid first to the state department of revenue involves a mandate that a panel would forward a percentage of the tax dollars that are deemed constitutional to the federal government.
  • Legislation that resists Cap and Trade and EPA regulations.
  • Firearms Freedom Act declares that  any firearms made and retained in a state are beyond the authority of Congress.
  • Constitutional tender laws that authorize payment in gold and silver or a paper note are backed completely by gold or silver.

Unhappily, millions of U.S. citizens are being oppressed, downtrodden by the unconstitutional Bradley Amendment. You can strongly encourage your state representatives to get moving on a federal nullification, regardless of the amount of time that unconstitutional federal child support has been in place. It won’t get any better by itself, but you can have great effect when enough of those affected get into action. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

The Power of Executive Orders

by Liberty Anderson

Executive orders have the full force of law, since issuances are typically made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress, some of which specifically delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power…

check book slaveryTo date, U.S. courts have overturned only two executive orders: the Truman order, and a 1995 order issued by President Clinton that attempted to prevent the federal government from contracting with organizations that had strike-breakers on the payroll. Congress was able to overturn an executive order by passing legislation in conflict with it during the period of 1939 to 1983 until the Supreme Court ruled in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha that the “legislative veto” represented “the exercise of legislative power” without “bicameral passage followed by presentment to the President.” The loss of the legislative veto has caused Congress to look for alternative measures to override executive orders such as refusing to approve funding necessary to carry out certain policy measures contained with the order or to legitimize policy mechanisms. In the former, the president retains the power to veto such a decision; however, the Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds majority to end an executive order. It has been argued that a Congressional override of an executive order is a nearly impossible event due to the supermajority vote required and the fact that such a vote leaves individual lawmakers very vulnerable to political criticism.

For many years, the average American was completely unaware of the existence of Executive Orders. They operated quietly in the background of government operation as ‘useful tools’ in the hands of a capable executive for the administration of his employees. Recent attention has been focused on Executive Orders because they no longer operate only on the employees of the administrative agencies of the Federal Government but on average citizens who perceive what appears to be an end-run around the Constitution. This paper will look at the evolution, or development of the Presidential Executive Order and attempt to place it, conceptually, within its constitutional boundaries. Obviously, the text of the Constitution will be the first source of authority to be examined. When the text of the Constitution is unclear or ambiguous, the next most authoritative source is in the writings of the founders themselves. Other sources in the hierarchy of probable reliability may be found in early Supreme Court decisions and works of legal scholarship by contemporaries of the framers.

Essentially, there are three different types of presidential proclamations that may have force of law: (1) those which are directed to the employees or agents of the executive branch; (2) those which result from specific authorizations of Congress; and (3) those in connection with his role as commander-in-chief. The latter are neither numbered nor published and are not considered Executive Orders within the context of this paper.

The first Presidential Executive Order was issued by George Washington in 1789, but no numbering system or uniformity was applied until 1907 when the Department of State retroactively designated an EO issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 as Executive Order 1. Certainly Lincoln used the Executive Order in some unique ways due to the Civil War and history has not judged him harshly for that discretion. By 1873, President U.S. Grant had established the form of the Executive Order which is similar to the one used today.

The American Civil War marked a turning point in American law and government. The realization dawned that American was not a land of inexhaustible natural resources, but rather, could be, and was being, stripped of its raw wealth by powerful interests. The role of government shifted from one of promoting exploitation and development to that of regulator and trustee. While this shift does not necessarily do injury to the Constitutional principle of “Balance of Powers,” it was a stepping-stone towards the degradation of the original notion of “balance” of powers. The much more pronounced shift towards Socialism emerged largely as a result of the Great Depression in the 1930’s when, “. . . [t]he concept became widely accepted at all levels of American life- ‘downtrodden masses’ as well as the educated elite- that it was desirable for the government to take care of its citizens and to protect them in their economic affairs.” It was within this time frame that the seeds of Socialism began to take root. Americans placed their confidence and hope in a “benevolent” government whose control of the marketplace might alleviate their economic woes.

“The revolutionary generation had been suspicious of any governmental power. The generation of the Gilded Age was still suspicious of imbalance of power. But significant segments of the public saw danger, not merely from one but from various sides: not only from government, but from populists, or trusts, or farmers, or the urban proletariat.” There is debate among scholars as to whether this shift was driven by an ideological agenda to change government or simply a natural response to the changing dynamics of national growth. To be sure, enterprising politicians read the handwriting on the wall and capitalized on the public sentiment.

“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States Which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Art. 1, §1 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress shall have the power. . .To make rules for the government. . .” Art. 1, § 8, para 14, U.S. Constitution Congress shall have the power. . . To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States or in any department or officer thereof.” Art. 1, § 8, para18, U.S. Constitution

From the foregoing, it is evident that the express language of the Constitution authorizes Congress to “make” the laws both “necessary” and “proper” to execute “all other powers” which are properly the domain of the federal government.

Article 1, § 9 contains a short list of restrictions which may be read to apply either to Congress, the President, or both. It follows immediately after the “necessary and proper” clause and immediately before Article 1, § 10 which specifically limits certain actions of the various states so it is obviously intended to place limitations on the federal power whether directly exercised by the branches or indirectly, through delegated authority.

Article II describes the authority of the Executive and a careful reading of this section is very illuminating. Given the clear description of the law-making process in article 1, we see the President’s role in that law-making process as having the veto power in order to force “marginal” laws to be more fully considered. The President does not have authority to “make” laws that are “necessary and proper for carrying into execution” the laws passed by Congress. That is the responsibility of Congress alone. The president is to carry out (execute) the laws within Constitutional limitations pertaining to ALL federal authority, NOT just the Executive branch. However, within the narrow language of the document, very little actual power is expressly granted to the President of the United States by the Constitution for peacetime, domestic administration of government. This is not meant to suggest that the President is a mere figurehead, for it was anticipated that he would be a man of considerable knowledge and influence. Additional powers may be inferred from the scope of diplomatic functions which fall upon the President. For example, his office meets with dignitaries and foreign heads of state and American foreign policy is principally his to formulate and carry out. His most important domestic functions, at least those functions to which the Constitution expressly alludes, are subject to “advice and consent” of the Senate. That phrase is designed to properly check the executive power. Otherwise, America would more closely resemble a monarchy; the very form of government our founders were trying to prevent. In any event, every exercise of authority by the president is subject to the oath of loyalty the president is required to utter, the language of which is specifically stated in Art.2, § 1, para 7.

No exact formula for defining the Presidential power is crystal clear from the Constitution itself and the conclusions drawn must rely on the context of the document and the extrinsic evidence. In the latter category, it is fortunate that we have preserved the original articles written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay in which the arguments for, and against, the Constitution were discussed. One can do no better than to turn to the sources who helped write, or greatly influenced, the original document.

On the subject of federal authority, James Madison wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. . . The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.”

But what if the Federal Government, under the guise of national emergency and with nothing but the pseudo-authority of Executive Orders, were to attempt to circumvent the Constitution? Who could imagine such a preposterous thing? Well, the likes of Patrick Henry, to name one, and other anti-Federalists of the day who raised the specter of such an event. Madison was incredulous at this paranoid assertion and responded to such a “hypothetical” situation by writing, “But ambitious encroachments of the federal government on the authority of the state governments would not excite the opposition of a single state, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. . . Plans of resistance would be concerted.” Madison obviously thought the idea of a runaway federal government was ludicrous! Besides, he reasoned, the state militias are armed and ready to fight such an obvious act of tyranny. Not just one or two States, but ALL of them would certainly rise up with force of arms and resist! He rebuffed his detractors by saying, “[t]hat the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm and continue to supply the materials until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads must appear to everyone more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy. . .than the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.”

The very idea that the entire federal government might act in concert to circumvent the Constitution was scarcely imaginable to James Madison. America had been born by the blood of the Patriots and the wounds of that great war could not be soon forgotten. The great cost of freedom from tyranny would be preserved by the careful dividing of the powers of government into such parts as may find themselves in tension with one another that only the most important national legislation could be passed. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”

Modern political commentators often argue that in today’s fast-paced political climate, where decisions of great magnitude must be made quickly, a more efficient mechanism is necessary. They argue the political process inherited from the founders is too cumbersome; the President needs more authority to deal with emergency situations. But order and efficiency must be balanced against liberty for the two concepts are frequently at cross-purposes. Madison, quoting Montesque, wrote, “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” The mood in Colonial America was one of independence- not just political independence from King George and Parliament, but one of more fundamental individual liberty. While modern Americans profess that they also desire liberty, they are unwilling (or unable) to accept the economic, social, and political consequences of that liberty. Rather, special interest groups have exerted influence far beyond their numbers and have succeeded in circumventing Constitutional processes by judicial activism or Executive Orders.

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