Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a propagandistically named “net neutrality” plan by a party-line vote of three to twowrites Benny Huang.
… surely a momentous decision like this one can’t be made within the executive branch, behind closed doors, by a group of unelected bureaucrats? And surely they can’t keep the plan secret until it passes?
Constitutionally speaking, they can’t. According to Article I of the Constitution, the power to create law is vested in the legislative branch. Legislators are not authorized to abdicate their responsibilities to a board, much less to the executive branch, which is where the FCC resides. A decision this important requires a full hearing in the halls of Congress with a vote by our elected representatives.
But that’s soooooo twentieth century. If the events of recent months are any indicator, the United States has officially transcended the messy process of legislating. We simply don’t decide contentious issues in Congress anymore. That’s what President Obama and his proxies are for.
The trend didn’t begin in recent months, or even with the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama, but it has nonetheless picked up speed like a runaway train since the Republican landslide of 2014. The president, if you can still call him that, is now facing some tepid opposition in Congress, which apparently entitles him to bypass that body entirely. It’s their fault for opposing his agenda. If they weren’t so “obstructionist” or “dysfunctional,” they’d give the president whatever he wants, no questions asked. The same principle does not apply to all presidents, of course, only this one.
… there’s the issue of President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens, which is clearly illegal, and he knows it. He even said so on Univision, warning Hispanic voters that there’s a process to changing laws and the process matters. “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case…. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.” That was before he decided that the power was in fact his to wield. Kind of makes you wonder what took him so long to use it?The Obama Administration’s argument, as far as I can tell, is that it’s merely exercising a little prosecutorial “discretion.” Such a thing does exist but it must be exercised with extreme caution lest justice devolve into the arbitrary rule of men, which I’m beginning to suspect is this president’s goal.
Actually changing the law would require congressional action but, the administration posits, since the administration is not changing the law, there’s no need. Unfortunately, President Obama said something quite different when a group of pro-illegal immigration hecklers interrupted him in Chicago. “You’re absolutely right that there have been significant numbers of deportations… But what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.
Change the law? Can presidents just do that? Apparently no one ever taught this supposed constitutional scholar that the president doesn’t get to do whatever he wants just because he thinks he has right on his side. But alas, the lesson he’s learned in Washington is quite the opposite. He’s seen that he can change immigration laws and ban a popular type of ammunition with the snap of his fingers, so what’s to stop him from regulating the internet? No one has yet stopped him. I’ve resigned myself to believe that no one ever will.