Cheap Seats 2021
Unlawful - 03/03
By Rich Trzupek
The airlines are making a new pre-flight announcement now days, telling passengers that it’s a violation of “federal law” not to wear a mask while on board.
This is BS.
It is unsurprising how many people don’t understand what a law actually is, since the last two presidents and a crap-ton of governors across the country have used Executive Orders like they bought them by the bushel at Costco. Executive Orders are not laws. “Czars” appointed by the executive branch of a lawful government are not empowered to create laws, only to enforce them.
Laws are passed by legislative bodies. In the case of the United States federal government that means the House and the Senate voted the law into being. Federal laws can only originate in one of those two chambers.
Federal regulations are not laws. Regulations are created by agencies that derive their limited authority and powers from laws passed by Congress. Note the use of the word “limited.”
I make my living dealing with regulations promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. USEPA was created by Congress and tasked with ensuring compliance with certain federal laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. EPA does not have the authority to – for example – enforce the speed limit on the interstate. To repeat, their scope and the scope of every federal agency is limited.
Finally, we have executive orders. And this is where things get fuzzy and dangerous. It is clear that the founders’ intent was to limit the use of executive orders to a relatively narrow scope, mostly dealing with national defense and foreign relations. Unfortunately the use of executive orders has increased exponentially under the last two administrations.
Faced with a recalcitrant Congress, President Obama used executive orders in a way that we’ve only previously seen in wartime, when presidents like Roosevelt and Lincoln could at least justify them under their obligations as Commanders in Chief.
President Trump followed suit. It does not matter that I agreed with most of the executive orders President Trump issued and disagreed with many that President Obama issued. This is not how the Republic is supposed to work. That whirring sound you hear is Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave.
In theory the Democrats now control both branches of the legislature. As a practical matter, they don’t – at least not on many issues. Because there are two Democrat parties just as there are two Republican parties.
There is the traditional conservative Republican party represented by folks like Ted Cruz and the squishy moderate Republican party that Mitt Romney stands for. For the Dems, it’s the progressives vs. the moderates.
Nobody ever accused Democrats of lack of political savvy. While they can congratulate themselves on winning one of the shadiest elections this side of Cook County, they can hardly avoid seeing the gains the GOP made in the House and in state level elections. Oh they may make noise about progressive dreams like the so-called “Green New Deal”, but it won’t get anywhere because the moderate Dems know it would be a disaster.
So what we’re left with is more executive orders and that, my friend, is a scary place to be when you’ve got a president as mentally-confused as President Hairplugs appears to be.
God help us.