Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What Can Obama's Czars Legally Do?

What Can Obama's Czars Legally Do? Judge Andrew Napolitano; FOXNews

...The czars are really presidential assistants; and never mind that the Constitution grants no power to the federal government on matters such as green jobs, automobiles, or manufacturing. The Constitution is rarely an impediment for modern White Houses which seek to regulate areas of personal and group behavior that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined. The czars may be hired without FBI background checks or Senate confirmations and they serve at the pleasure of the president. Because they work in the West Wing and directly for the president, they enjoy almost total immunity from any accountability to Congress. Supreme Court decisions even immunize presidential assistants from replying to subpoenas from Congress for documents or testimony, under the claim of executive privilege. ...

...The president cannot assign a czar to do the work of a cabinet secretary or delegate to a czar his own powers without violating the Constitution and federal law. But if the czars are not asked questions under oath, we may never learn just what it is that they do.

Comment: I believe the case can be made that the 17th Amendment contributed to this problem, the growth of the czars, followed by the growth of the Executive Branch, which the good Judge doesn't discuss. Undoubtedly there is no longer a "check" made by the Legislative Branch to the Executive. The 17th Amendment broke this check, meaning the States are blocked from preventing the growth of a centralized government massed in the Executive Branch, while the Congress is no longer focused on the same, but is now co-partner in growing the central government at the expense of the States and their rights by abdicating power to the Executive Branch.

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