Republicans are rightly complaining about Obama’s abuse of power in the issuance of sweeping executive orders to trump their opposition in Congress on important policy issues.
But, as abusive as that use of power is, the danger it poses to our representative democracy is dwarfed by federal agencies’ continuing issuance of massive federal regulations. Over the decades the Code of Federal Regulations has dwarfed the United States Code (statutes written by Congress).
The Constitution dictates that Congress passes the laws that govern our nation. But in administrations (both Republican and Democrat) over several decades, Congress has blithely delegated that law-making power to a myriad of federal agencies. And the Supreme Court has readily endorsed that shift in power by ordering lower courts to defer to a federal agency’s interpretations of the law.