Over at National Review Online, Jim Lacey has done everyone a favour by illustrating the utter contempt the federal government has come to have for the document that gives it its very life – the U.S. Constitution. He draws a hideous picture of an executive branch engaged not in some occasional rule-making of a trifling sort, which would be bad enough, but in hyper-legislating, an unconscionable violation of the separation of powers between the Congress (in whom the power to write federal laws has been solely vested) and the executive branch:
‘The first Federal Register was issued in 1936. It contained eleven pages! For the first 147 years of the nation’s existence under the Constitution we somehow managed to get by with only eleven pages of regulations. . . . By 2008 the Federal Register contained 31,879 documents and 79,435 pages, while the Code of Federal Regulations comprised 163,333 pages in 226 individual books. Rules have been accumulating at a rate of nine pages a day since 1936.’
This unrestrained law writing by executive agencies, this ‘metastisizing’ of the regulatory state, as Mr Lacey rightly calls it, has occurred under the watch of both Republicans and Democrats and with the blessing, implicit or explicit, of all three branches of the federal government.
So what does Mr Lacey propose as a solution to this problem he is rightly grieved over?Details