There are three distinct branches of government with three separate functions. The legislative branch has the power to make laws, the executive branch has the power to execute those laws, and the judicial branch has the power to interpret and evaluate those laws. That’s what most of us learned in our grade school civics or history courses, and that’s what the Constitution dictates. But that’s a lesson that Washington bureaucrats seem to have missed.
Government agencies have become so powerful that they’ve decided to get into the business of making laws. They’ve ushered in a period of aggressive rule-making that overburdens individuals, businesses, and communities and violates the Constitution by infringing on the function of the legislative branch.
How’d it all start? During the 80s, the Supreme Court created a standard known as “Chevron deference” (named after the case the court was hearing). Chevron deference says that, in instances where disputes arise about interpretation of law, courts should defer to the interpretations of executive branch agencies. Easy enough, right? Right. But since that time, the executive branch has used Chevron deference to create entirely new laws under the guise that they are “interpreting” existing law. Now, every time you turn your head, the Obama administration has put in place new regulations that create tremendous cost to businesses with little to no benefit.
It’s time to reverse this crippling trend. It’s time to reign in an executive branch that is running roughshod over the Constitution and over folks like you who are working hard to earn a living and make a difference. That’s why I voted in favor of the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA). This important piece of legislation seeks to return the power to interpret laws back to the courts, reduce the power that regulatory agencies have wielded for too long, and restore the balance of power among the three branches of government.
That is what the Constitution demands, and that is what we owe to the American people.