Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Must we exclude the people to save the people?

Purple Wisconsin blogger Jim Rowen directs us to state Rep. Chris Taylor's diary of her attendance at the Chicago meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Conference. The left's obsession with ALEC as some kind of dark and secret conspiracy is, at best, silly and, at worst, a calculated bit of cynicism. Jim Rowen and Rep. Taylor know that there are many exchanges, forums and organizations that provide the type of networking and expertise for liberals that ALEC provides for conservatives. IF ALEC was operating in the "dark," it would have hardly have allowed Rep. Taylor into its bowels.

What struck me about Rep. Taylor's diary was her description of an exchange with someone promoting a constitutional amendment to require Congressional approval of federal regulations. She doesn't identify the man, but I am passingly familiar with the idea and pretty sure that I know who she spoke to.  She's either missing the point or deliberately burying it.

Rep. Taylor seems to think that "regulatory reform" would be an odd thing to put in the Constitution and is something that "the people" would not - and should not - care about. She should pay a bit more attention to constitutional theory and history.

Over the past fifty years or so, there has been a judicial erosion of the so-called "non-delegation" doctrine. The doctrine formally states that Congress may not delegate legislative authority to administrative agencies.  It is rooted in the recognition that it is Congress, the elected representatives of the people, who are to pass the laws and embodies the principle that democratic decision-making may not be frustrated by delegating this power to unelected federal agencies.

The problem is that the courts have not done very well in enforcing this principle, permitting Congress to authorize agency rule-making through broad directives that provide little guidance and few, in any limitations. In doing so, it has gutted the "anti-delegation" doctrine and gone a great way to "remove" the people from the process of making law. The agencies effectively determine policy by adopting regulations that have the force of law and that Congress never voted for.

Now if you want a lot of meddling by the federal government and ideological "experts" in our national life, this is no problem at all. Regulatory agencies, operating, for the most part, out of the spotlight and far more responsive to special interests and advocacy organizations than "the people," will manage to do things that could never get through Congress.

But to defend that view in the name of "the people' is passingly strange.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin


Dad29 said...

She should pay a bit more attention to constitutional theory and history.


The President doesn't. He even ignores laws named after himself.

SCOTUS doesn't, either. (Shall we define 'interstate commerce' to include gardening? YES!!!)

Why should she bother with such musty old concepts, Rick? She has more important things to do, right?

Terrence Berres said...

What of Mises analysis in Bureaucracy?

"Those who criticize bureaucracy make the mistake of directing their attacks against a symptom only and not against the seat of the evil. It makes no difference whether the innumerable decrees regimenting every aspect of the citizen’s economic activities are issued directly by a law, duly passed by Congress, or by a commission or government agency to which power has been given by a law and by the allocation of money. What people are really complaining about is the fact that the government has embarked upon such totalitarian policies, not the technical procedures applied in their establishment. It would make little difference if Congress had not endowed these agencies with quasi-legislative functions and had reserved to itself the right to issue all decrees required for the conduct of their functions."

Anonymous said...

Lets include gays in same sex marriage
Coming to a Midwest state near you

George Mitchell said...

Hey, Dad29, Christians are commanded to abide by the laws of a society (Deuteronomy 17:2; Ecclesiastes 8:2-5; Matthew 22:21, Peter 2:13-17 for starters). Simply disagreeing with laws in the eyes of the Lord does NOT give license to ignore or purposely break them. Dutiful submission to authority through unjust suffering and/or perceived unfairness (1 Peter 2:18-23) is GOD'S standard.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I heard a now retired congressman assert that congress should be required to vote on all new regs. He was asked: how will you find the time. His response: we are not actually very busy and there would be plenty of time for us to do this.

Dad29 said...

"George"....what in Hell are you talking about?

George Mitchell said...

Dad29, don't play coy, you know EXACTLY what I am saying.

Dad29 said...

Simply disagreeing with laws in the eyes of the Lord does NOT give license to ignore or purposely break them

Oh, I get it.

You are condemning Obozo!!

Nicely played.

George Mitchell said...

No, I am condemning Christians who don't practice what they preach.


Dad29 said...

Ah. So you're another graduate of Publik Screwels--unable to read, "George."

George Mitchell said...

No, I am able to read perfectly, Dad29. Reasonable Catholics understand universal health care is a fundamental right endowed by our Creator.

"I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

Isaiah 46:3-4

Dad29 said...

"Reasonable" is one thing. Real Catholics understand.

Very different, and over your head.

St Paul (etc.) advocate self-sacrifice in the case of unjust Gummints. But they do not, and CAN not, advocate sacrifice of others--such as wives and children--in those cases.

So your proof-texting is fetid.

Not nearly as much as your assertion that health care is a God-given right.

You can't even find a proof-text for that because such text does not exist.

GOD said that He would care for us. He never said that He would force OTHERS to care for us.


George Mitchell said...

Real Catholics do understand how to be reasonable, something that is completely foreign to you.

"St Paul (etc.) advocate self-sacrifice in the case of unjust Gummints."

Well, then, what are you waiting for? Here is your opportunity to be a martyr.

"Not nearly as much as your assertion that health care is a God-given right."

First, the text is crystal clear regarding God's to care for people in health and in sickness, from birth until death.

Second, the only thing that reeks here is your solipsism. Your dear religious leader stated otherwise.


Third, Obamacare was NOT forced upon American citizens; it was voted upon by our representatives.

As a so-called "man of faith", it is most disheartening you have taken positions diametrically opposed to the Pope's call that governments, as a moral and ethical matter, as a matter of justice, provide all people access to health care, even the poor, the sick and the elderly.

Certainly, if you despise the law (and most of the politicians in America for that matter), run for office and work to change it.

Nah, too much self-sacrifice on your part. You'd rather blog about it...

Dad29 said...

English is hard for you, eh?

"Gummints....provide ACCESS...." is fine. No problem.

Everyone in the US has always had ACCESS to care.

Simple and moronic propaganda--your specialty--doesn't cut it.

George Mitchell said...

"Gummints....provide ACCESS...." is fine. No problem."

Now you're backtracking when the jig is up. Typical.

"Everyone in the US has always had ACCESS to care."

Per usual, you are clueless about American history.
While the black death rate for TB was three to four times that of whites in South Carolina in the early twentieth century, it took five years before the state TB sanitarium even admitted blacks, and it was not until the 1950's that blacks were admitted to the hospital on a par with whites. And, of course, up until the early 1900's, factory workers who were severely injured were simply fired. I'm sure they had the financial resources to get fixed up after being scalded by molten iron.

The societal obligation is balanced by individual obligations. Individuals ought to pay a fair share of the cost of their own health care and take reasonable steps to provide for such care when they can do so without excessive burdens. Nevertheless, the origins of health needs are too complex, and their manifestation too acute and severe, to permit care to be regularly denied on the grounds that individuals are solely responsible for their own health.

Equitable access to health care requires that all citizens be able to secure an adequate level of care without excessive burdens. Well within the purview of Isaiah.

From the source you failed to read--The pope lamented the great inequalities in health care around the globe. While people in many parts of the world aren't able to receive essential medications or even the most basic care, in INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES there is a risk of "pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism" that leads to "a cult of the body," the pope said.

Yep, "simple and moronic propaganda"...from the pope!

Dad29 said...


Your sophistry undoubtedly impresses the 14-21 y.o. lovesick girls in your classroom.

That's as far as it goes.

George Mitchell said...

You've now gone full-blown retard, Dad29. Congratulations!