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Executive Orders, Laws & the Constitution

The Waynesboro Republicans are men and women of principle. Their goal is to defend the Constitution, with energy, courage and good humor.

Published in the News Virginian, September 10, 2014

amnesty2This article is about executive orders, laws and the coming November assault on the Constitution.

On Saturday, September 6th, the President announced that he would delay his planned executive order granting amnesty to illegal aliens until after the November 4th elections. He decided to temporarily put off his unconstitutional action so that Democrats running for Congress would not have their chances of victory diminished.

Here are the things you should know about the President’s plan.

First, we need definitions. The definition of an executive order is an order or directive from the Chief Executive to Federal employees concerning the performance of their jobs. An example of an executive order would be banning smoking in a building owned by the Federal government. Executive orders apply only to Federal employees.

A law is a rule made by a government concerning the behavior of the people of a country, state or city. An example would be a law banning theft. Laws apply to the population at large.

The Constitution reads, “Article I. Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The first requirement of the Constitution is that laws must be written by Congress and no one else. That was what the American Revolution was all about.

In summary, only Congress can make laws. An executive order which affects the population at large, is actually a law made by the President, which is clearly illegal under the Constitution.

Next, let’s consider how the Constitution provides for the situation of a renegade President.

After the Constitution was drafted in 1787, it needed to be ratified by the States to become our founding document. To encourage the States to accept the newly drafted Constitution, convention delegates James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote newspaper articles, explaining the contents and the benefits of the document.

Madison, Hamilton and Jay are known as the Federalists, and their writing are called the Federalist Papers.

Remember, the Constitution was written in a vernacular to be understood by ordinary people. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention knew that Americans throughout the country would not ratify a document that they could not understand.

Let me say it another way. The Constitution was written for folks like you and me. It was not written for Harvard lawyers and ACLU cranks.

Here is what James Madison wrote, as it relates to a renegade President, “This power over the purse (by the House of Representatives) may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” Federalist Paper 58.

The House of Representatives has the power to redress any grievance, including a President who dictates illegal laws.

Now, the question is, what’s to be done?

We know that the President plans to issue an illegal law granting amnesty after the November 4th election.

The Representatives in the House have two months to devise a strategy to block the faux law.

Waynesboro is fortunate to be represented by Congressman Bob Goodlatte. Not only is he an able Representative, he is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of the most influential members of the House. It is my hope that he and others who respect the Constitution will prepare for the November fight.

We – you and I — must not let America slip into a dictatorship because we are unwilling to defend it.

Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.