Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Complicated Conundrum

Yesterday the Executive Branch of our Government, that body charged with executing and defending the laws of the United States announced that they respectfully disagreed with one such law and would no longer enforce it.  While my initial reaction was more along the lines of "Well it's about damned time," it did cause me to stop and think.  What does this do to our supposed system of checks and balances?

Well, it wrecks them.  If the executive can willfully ignore the laws of the United States that he disagrees with, what need of a Legislative or even a Judicial Branch.  The executive can simply choose not to enforce that law.  But, but I agree with him this time!  Yes, will you next time?  What happens when the next guy comes in?  Can he, by word alone rescind enforcement of all the laws prior to his arrival that he disagrees with?  How far removed then are we from this President or the next or the one after that from using this precedence to suspending free elections, the rule of law, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances?  This action is more akin to saying "Your rules stink, I'm taking my ball and going home."

That's not the complicated part though.  Here it is:  The executive branch should not only enforce the laws on the books as they are able, but also defend them to the courts where challenged.  We are a nation built upon the rule of law.  While we disagree with many of those laws, it is not for us to decide to ignore them.  Instead we must work within the confines of the law to overturn or strike a law.  Instead of ruling by fiat, the administration should petition Congress to undo this catastrophe.  At the same time, the administration should do its duty and defend the law before the Courts.  The President needs to be the adult here, take the responsibility that comes with his position for the sake of the position. 

As with most laws that impose someone else's views in order to restrict Freedom, I'm against this law.  Let's work to repeal it in the Legislative branch.  Who knows, you may just like the process, at which point I can point you to another 500 or so laws that we can go after next.

Until next time...

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