President Barak Obama became somewhat famous for legislating with the pen. He didn’t produce as many proclamations as some presidents, but he did press the power of proclamation into the realm of putting forth as new laws. But law making is the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, not the executive.
As this happened many people across the nation were dismayed, myself included.
But as the pendulum has swung, I am now beginning to see the benefits in him having behaved in this manner. Namely that whatever he did with the power of the presidential pen, can be undone with the same power, by the new president.
Just think how much more difficult it would be to correct these actions if they had been legally enacted by the legislature.
This should be a lesson for all of America including those who will be shortly taking control. There is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. If you take the time, and respect the process, by doing things right your actions may stand the test of time. Take shortcuts and they may short lived.
Recently the Supreme Court made a subtle and important non-decision on gay marriage.
The non-decision happened like this. Alabama had a law banning gay marriage. It was voted into place by the majority of Alabama voters, but was then challenged and overturned by a federal judge. This decision will be brought up before the Supreme Court later this year, but in the meantime Alabama asked the Supreme Court to issue a stay preventing the issuing of marriage licenses to same sex couples until after the court decides.
The non-decision was refusing to hear and act on the request for a stay. Many have interpreted it as an indication the majority of the court is ready to rubber stamp anything and everything in regards to gay marriage.
This is not to say there are no dissenting voices. Clarence Thomas spoke strongly against the decision, and for my purposes against the implications of the non-decision.
He said the court demonstrates an “increasingly cavalier attitude toward the states.” He explained the federal courts fail to show “appropriate respect” to the states. He also reminds them they owe respect “to the people of those states who approved those laws.” He further said their behavior was formed “on questionable constitutional grounds.” And that their actions were “without any regard for the people who approved those laws in popular referendums or elected the representatives who voted for them.”
In other words, the Supreme Court, and courts in general, are expanding their power. But what will it mean for us all in the long run? We no longer have a representative government, but a shadow of one, more accurately guided by the supreme and uncontested power of the courts.