During a recent Senate hearing, Justice Antonin Scalia cited Alexander Hamilton when writing about a separate Senate in The Federalist, Scalia paraphrased Hamilton’s sentiment this way, “Yes, it seems inconvenient but inasmuch as the main ill that besets us is the excess of legislation, it won’t be so bad.” The Supreme Court Justice points out that the contradicting power between the two houses of congress and the president is not a design flaw in our constitution, but rather an intentional design feature of the framers to protect the minority.
This has served us fairly well over our history but is now threatened by an imperial president determined to bypass what he has called “an increasingly dysfunctional congress” and to govern by executive fiat. As Phil Kerpen has brilliantly outlined in his new book Democracy Denied, whether it be cap-and-trade, net neutrality, or advancing his pro-union agenda, there is more than one way to skin a cat and if he is denied in the legislature (as our founders intended) he will simply attempt to do it through regulatory fiat or executive order.
What justice Scalia referred to as the real key to the distinctiveness of America, this contradicting power between the two houses of congress and the executive, will be lost forever if this president is allowed to move forward with his “We can’t wait” rule by executive decree. If Barack Obama is allowed a free rein to bypass congress, the excess of legislation that Hamilton feared will seem pale in comparison and our democracy will indeed be denied.Vodpod videos no longer available.