January 29, 2013
Any civics textbook will tell you that America is a constitutional republic where laws are written by our duly elected representatives. After all, that’s what the Constitution says.
Heritage Foundation expert Postell sums up this conventional wisdom: “Since Members of Congress are elected by the people, we assume that we have therefore indirectly consented to the laws that we must follow.”
But Postell warns us, unfortunately, that “the reality is much different.”
America has become an administrative state, where many of the laws on the books are not written by our elected leaders at all:
Most federal law is created by the agencies and departments that make up the national bureaucracy, not by Congress. Congress passes laws delegating its legislative power to these agencies and departments, and they in turn develop the laws with which we must comply.
The federal bureaucracy is growing quickly and enacting more and more of these laws. This violates the principles of the Constitution, which vests the legislative power exclusively in the Congress.