Unfortunately, lawmakers have become increasingly comfortable handing over their powers to unelected bureaucrats. Laws such as Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare are intentionally vague, leaving presidential appointees or career “civil servants” to fill in the blanks. This can lead to abuses, such as when parts of Dodd-Frank are self-funding (thus dodging congressional oversight) and when bureaucrats grant exemptions to ObamaCare’s regulations.
A solution would be for lawmakers to reassert their constitutional authority to make law. Congress should write clear and concise statutes, not vague, meandering bills. Every law should be as easy to read and understand as the Constitution itself.
Meanwhile, members of each branch should interpret the Constitution by attempting to discern the original meaning of the text as it was written and publicly understood at the time of ratification, a method commonly referred to as originalism. Through originalism, officials would have to become better acquainted with the actual text and structure of the Constitution, and draw attention to its true purposes and principles.
There’s been much discussion about “American Exceptionalism” lately. We’ve heard from the American president and the Russian one, and -- not surprisingly -- they disagree on the concept. But they’re missing a very simple point: America is exceptional because it was founded on a creed. We know that all men are created equal, and our Constitution attempts to protect that equality here at home.
Not perfectly, no. The fallible human beings entrusted to oversee its enforcement often make mistakes. But the document itself is the soundest constitution ever created.
And that’s why it will be around for an unprecedented 227th birthday next Sept. 17. And for many more to come.
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