Legislative Fix

I have an idea for a possible fix for the tremendous flood of bureaucracy-generated legislation, in the form of a Constitutional amendment:TJFlag-BlankPaper

Proposed: Amendment to Restrict Lawmaking to the Legislative Branch

Section One: The Executive Branch may create and put into effect any and all regulations needed to address procedures within the executive branch, so long as these have no constraints, fines, penalties, levies, nor direct effects of any sort on any person not employed by the executive branch. For the purposes of this Section, “direct effects of any sort” does not include changes to the quality or quantity of services provided to persons not employed by the executive branch.

Section Two: All regulations outside of those described in Section One created by the executive branch must be proposed to Congress to be included, at Congress’s option, into the normal legislative process. Only when passed by both Houses and signed into law shall such regulations take effect.

Section Three: Each House of Congress shall establish a Regulatory Committee and establish procedures to review proposed regulations received from the executive branch, and decide whether to cast these as bills to be considered by the full House. Each House’s Regulatory Committee may decide not to act upon proposed regulations, or may submit its own version of such regulations to its House members.

Section Four: This Amendment shall take effect at the beginning of the first session of Congress after its ratification as prescribed in the Constitution, so long as such ratification takes place within seven years after the final version of this Amendment is offered for ratification.

Several things would happen as a result of this amendment’s ratification:

  • The flood of new regulations-acting-as-laws would be cut tremendously.
  • Agency bureaucrats would begin to pick and choose which regulations were important.
  • The workload on the newly created Regulatory Committees would be huge — as they would be the initial bottleneck.
  • As a result of that workload, they will tend to be cynical about low-value regulatory attempts.
  • The amendment interposes no restriction on the original intent of executive legislation, which was to work out procedures by which the laws of the country would be implemented. As long as these internal regulations are not laws, they can have as many procedures as they wish.

Of course, the executive branch — not just the president, but many key agencies — would fight this amendment furiously, as it strips them of power and may cost many of them their jobs. But one useful aspect of the amendment process, as spelled out in the Constitution’s Article V, is that the executive branch has no power and no involvement in the amendment process.

At least in theory. But since their interests are aligned with most mainstream media outlets, the campaign against this will be gigantic.

I have other ideas about the legislative process as well, but more on that later.

==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • First of all, you’re welcome here. The debate is more active on the LiveJournal site, where most of my readers are and almost all of the comments take place.

    But my response here got too long for the comment space. A new post will go up momentarily with a reply.

    ==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • john

    Apologies… It’s John Zande here

  • john

    Keith, in no way am I going to haunt your site, please
    understand that, and feel free to delete this comment after you read it, but
    reading your reply to siriusbizinus on Tom’s blog, and I must
    address what points you have raised. (understanding, of course, that I am now
    banned from commenting).

    First, I regret using the word “useful,” it is too broad, but never intentionally
    dismissed your allusion to things “useful.” Now, to be honest, I can’t even
    recall your answer, but if I breezed over it, it was only because that was not
    the actual thrust of the question. That thrust being, “original and new.”
    Useful was, in my mind, more directed to information which physically reduced
    suffering… of which Jesus offered none.

    Granted, I did not clarify that.

    Yes, people can take solace in nice phrases, and the concept of cosmic
    justice is lovely. No doubt, that can be viewed as ‘useful.”

    I stand corrected.

    Now, beyond that you offered up the Beatitudes. This answer I actually
    focused on. It was direct, and it was specific. It could be dealt with in the
    spirit of the question. And, as I demonstrated, the Beatitudes are nothing new,
    nor original.

    By focusing just on the “useful” you seem to be deliberately
    misdirecting the conversation from what truly matters in relation to the
    question asked.

    You and Tom appear to be accusing me of being dismissive, yet both of you are purposefully ignoring the facts. As for Scouts “answer” which Tom keeps referring to, it was not an answer, as he just said “Thoughts.” Three times I asked “what thoughts?” I never got an answer.

    Please, be reasonable.