The Legislature’s First Job Is Not to Legislate By Iain Murray

One way for Congress to “do something.”

Democratic governance isn’t about a majority doing whatever it wants, much less when that involves advancing a president’s agenda. Congress, in effect, has abandoned its purpose within our system of separation of powers, and needs to turn back.

As every child in America learns in civics class, Congress, as the legislature of the United States, has as its primary job to pass laws. But its responsibilities don’t end there. Congress’s functional role is to legislate, but it has an equally important structural role within our system of government: to check the powers of the other branches, especially the Executive. Unfortunately, Congress has abdicated its checking role, leading to the overly mighty Executive of today.

The Constitution is notably vague about legislative and executive powers. This should not come as a surprise. America is, after all, a common law country, where law is discovered by Courts rather than made from on high by Monarchs or Lawgivers. So, under a common law system, statute law is to be reserved for matters of great national import that must be debated by the people’s representatives.

Read more at The American Spectator

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