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The Rise of the Fourth Branch of Government
Washington Post ^ | May 24th, 2013 | Jonathan Turley

Posted on 05/26/2013 3:12:36 AM PDT by Jacquerie

There were times this past week when it seemed like the 19th-century Know-Nothing Party had returned to Washington. President Obama insisted he knew nothing about major decisions in the State Department, or the Justice Department, or the Internal Revenue Service. The heads of those agencies, in turn, insisted they knew nothing about major decisions by their subordinates. It was as if the government functioned by some hidden hand.

The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.

The rise of the fourth branch has been at the expense of Congress’s lawmaking authority. In fact, the vast majority of “laws” governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations, crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats. One study found that in 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, including 61 major regulations.

The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws. The court went even further this past week, ruling that agencies should get the same heavy deference in determining their own jurisdictions — a power that was previously believed to rest with Congress. In his dissent in Arlington v. FCC, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 17th; constitution; epaoutofcontrol; fedadministration; federaldepts; fedgovtoutofcontrol; fourthbranch; irs; regulations; statesrights; turley
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"In the new regulatory age, presidents and Congress can still change the government’s priorities, but the agencies effectively run the show based on their interpretations and discretion. The rise of this fourth branch represents perhaps the single greatest change in our system of government since the founding. We cannot long protect liberty if our leaders continue to act like mere bystanders to the work of government."
1 posted on 05/26/2013 3:12:36 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Jacquerie
" Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’"

No. In fact it wouldn't be "a bit much" at all."
2 posted on 05/26/2013 3:17:26 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: All
Question: Why didn't this extreme power shift to unaccountable bureaucrats begin in the 18th century? Why did Congress wait until the 20th century to assign much of its law making duties to executive agencies?
3 posted on 05/26/2013 3:18:52 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th.)
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To: Jacquerie

“The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws. The court went even further this past week, ruling that agencies should get the same heavy deference in determining their own jurisdictions — a power that was previously believed to rest with Congress. In his dissent in Arlington v. FCC, Chief Justice John Roberts warned: “It would be a bit much to describe the result as ‘the very definition of tyranny,’ but the danger posed by the growing power of the administrative state cannot be dismissed.””

I have run into the tiny tin-pot bureaucrat who has no power in their personal life, but the power of saying “no” in their professional life. When a child turns two and discovers the power of “no” you hear it thousands of times a day. That’s the only power they have so the exercise it extensively.

People who can make illogical and stupid rules do so because they have the power to do it. (Clinton’s excuse for the blow jobs was, “because I could.”) Congress needs to either defund these out of control agencies (IRS, EPA, et. al.) or re-write the laws so the agencies are specifically told what they can do, and more importantly, what they can’t do.

Every agency you can think of has been infiltrated and is now controlled by the agenda-laden left.


4 posted on 05/26/2013 3:23:59 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Jacquerie

Hogwash! This is nothing more than the Washington compost trying to make excuses. People who run these agencies are political appointees put in charged by the President. They kowtow to the wishes of the President and implement his direction. Do you think for a moment that if liberal groups were targeted this President wouldn’t be throwing people in jail?

What you have here with the DOJ/FoxNews scandal, the IRS, Benganzi, etc is nothing more than an orchestrated agenda set by this President. The MSM, which has tried so desperately to hide all of this now finds itself in a position to cover their rears.


5 posted on 05/26/2013 3:25:05 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Jacquerie

The autonomy was magnified when the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that agencies are entitled to heavy deference in their interpretations of laws.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The People need to Change that ruling and Congress needs to pass the necessary law that no regulation can usurp or expand the plain meaning of any statutory provision.

If Congress bans the federal regulation of Coffee, then that also means Cappuccino. We are being ruled by socialista bureaucrats.They are ruining the country.

Why should such madness even be funded by taxes and a criminal IRS?


6 posted on 05/26/2013 3:25:37 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: Jacquerie
"Why did Congress wait until the 20th century to assign much of its law making duties to executive agencies? "

They were waiting on the chosen one ZERO

7 posted on 05/26/2013 3:25:55 AM PDT by DeaconRed (If you cheat and win (Like ZERO) you haven't won. . . . You cheated.. .)
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To: Jacquerie

BTTT


8 posted on 05/26/2013 3:36:01 AM PDT by Fzob (In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Jefferson)
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To: Gen.Blather
...........re-write the laws so the agencies are specifically told what they can do, and more importantly, what they can’t do.

Something akin to the enumerated powers the Constitution spells out for the Federal government and which they abide by with 100% exactitude, right?...........right?..........right?

9 posted on 05/26/2013 3:40:56 AM PDT by varon (USA Nationalist)
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To: Jacquerie

I have been saying for years that it isn’t the laws that we have to fear so much as regulations.

One lone Bureaucrat sitting in an office making up their own rules.

You can fight the law, but regulations are pretty much cast in stone.

A good example is the regulation authority of Sebelius in the Health Care Bill and the authority of Napolitano at immigration.Al;so Holder ate Justice.

They are running rogue agencies with far too much power.

Why do they get away with it? Congress is too friggin lazy to buck them.


10 posted on 05/26/2013 3:48:01 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Jacquerie

11 posted on 05/26/2013 3:53:58 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Jacquerie
I find this liberal discussion of a government too big to govern amusing. In their liberal lexicon, big government has always had all the answers. Now that their Messiah’s incompetence, laziness, inability to lead, and to work is self-evident, their excuse is it is not his fault, no one can properly manage the big government. They would sooner attack their main socialist pillar of big government than place blame on Zero. Just more liberal media propaganda and deception.
12 posted on 05/26/2013 3:58:16 AM PDT by iontheball
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To: Venturer
>>>Why do they get away with it?

Because adult supervision of the government was removed with the 17th Amendment, when a Senate of the States was replaced with the equivalent of three term Congressmen. We have government by administration for no other reason than because Congress likes it. It relieves them of responsibility to the problems they cause.

13 posted on 05/26/2013 4:07:40 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th.)
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To: Jacquerie

They have managed to bypass congress and to some of our congressman and women this is fine. Remember sen. conyers(dope) who made this comment, “ I dont have time to read this bill it’s 2500 pages”


14 posted on 05/26/2013 4:08:17 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (Yesterdays conspiracies are todays truths)
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To: varon

“Something akin to the enumerated powers the Constitution spells out for the Federal government and which they abide by with 100% exactitude, right?...........right?..........right?”

Everything is a constant fight against overreach. I’m trying to make suggestions that could be carried out if a “conservative” came to power. The quotes are because so many progressives hide behind the label. (Juan McCain, Mitt Romney...)


15 posted on 05/26/2013 4:09:02 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Gen.Blather

I think that what spawned these bureaucracies in the first place was the expansion of the areas in which the Federal government was directly involved. Those were pretty limited in the 18th and for much of the 19th century. The 20th century, especially from FDR onwards, saw a huge expansion of government intervention and thus the creation of agencies to carry it out.


16 posted on 05/26/2013 4:13:13 AM PDT by livius
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To: Jacquerie

“...Why didn’t this extreme power shift to unaccountable bureaucrats begin in the 18th century?...”
-
I think we both know why.


17 posted on 05/26/2013 4:14:57 AM PDT by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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To: HarleyD

The “hidden hand”? Not so hidden.

There has been a remake of the entire landscape of America since the rise of “Progressives”, which dominated much of US politics from the time of Teddy Roosevelt forward. Superficially, TR was a “Republican”, but that term is meaningless in relation to what he initiated, and which was carried forward with Woodrow Wilson. The “progressive” amendments, i.e., the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth, were all “Cram-down” acts, passed in the passion of the moment. The Eighteenth was the only one ever repealed (by the Twenty-First), having to do with the growth of lawlessness in the decade and a half between 1918 and 1933, when it became illegal but highly fashionable to consume alcohol in practically any form.

Lawlessness did not stop with the passage of the Twenty-First, but at least the masses could be suitably anesthetized so they did not particularly notice the vast erosion of other liberties at the time, all in the name of “fairness”, which was determined by the “Brain Trust” that was gathered to create and implement the New Deal.

Actually, the so-called New Deal was a rebranding of the same Social Democracy doctrines that had been introduced in 1871 to the newly formed German Confederacy that had been created under the Chancellorship of Otto von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm I, German Emperor. This “safety net” had been around in the various European states in some form or another since the Middle Ages, and was an outgrowth of feudalism and “Noblesse Oblige” doctrine, which demanded generosity from the ruling class.

These old doctrines were exactly what the colonists who flocked to the North American continent were seeking to flee, and when attempts were made to re-impose the “divine right” of a king upon these rebellious souls, finally resulted in the “American Experiment”, codified in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

By all standards, the “American Experiment” was a wildly successful application of the concept of a representative republic, displacing both hereditary rulers and raw democracy, which each lead to the same result, extensive control by a small oligarchy. By encouraging the productivity of each individual to be suitably rewarded, the growth of this new nation was phenomenal, outstripping and surpassing even that of the British Empire by the early part of the Twentieth Century, and creating the American Century.

But alas, some few individuals, unable to participate in all this new-found prosperity, agitated for and obtained concessions from the new wealth created by this boom, and restored some form of the Noblesse Oblige. The mistake came when it became a doctrine of elected government, and charity was taken out of the hands of individual donors and institutionalized as a government “right”, nowhere to be found in any draft of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

Sure, some of the provisions as written in the Eighteenth Century were flawed, and subject to re-interpretation and amendment, but it was a pretty darned good approximation of moving toward a greater degree of personal freedom than had ever been known on such a large scale in all of human history.

And yet, there are those who would retreat altogether from this experiment in the elevation of the sanctity of the individual, and revert to the old forms of oligarchy. No matter how this reversion is dressed up, human beings are not members of some huge ant hill, and subjecting entire populations to an imposed conformity is no way to run a railroad.


18 posted on 05/26/2013 4:17:24 AM PDT by alloysteel (If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.)
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To: Repeal The 17th

Yep.


19 posted on 05/26/2013 4:29:06 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th.)
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To: Jacquerie
Why did Congress wait until the 20th century to assign much of its law making duties to executive agencies? 

Oohh... Oohh... Pick me! Pick me!

-PJ

20 posted on 05/26/2013 4:39:37 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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