I was looking for information on Executive Orders to find out if there is a remedy to them. As usual what I thought would be simple became a maize of complications. I was side-tracked over to another facet of the issue. Actually, it should be simple, if only our government was working properly. But it isn’t …and you know it isn’t. I’ve been asking myself how the occupants of the White House are getting away with Executive Orders and why these orders are never challenged. I think I stumbled upon the answer.
According to Wikipedia, in 1976 a National Emergencies Act was passed to stop the possibility of never ending states of emergency. The Act supposedly set a limit of two years on any state of emergency declared by the POTUS. This also gave Congress the ability to require the POTUS to go through formalities to declare a National Emergency. Unfortunately, it did nothing to stop any POTUS from continuing a never ending state of emergency. It is an ultimate power grab by the Executive Branch. Here is the bad news:
The United States has been in a state of national emergency continuously for over 30 years, since the Carter administration invoked it premised on the “situation in Iran”. In November 2012, President Barack Obama informed Congress that the State of National Emergency in effect since November 14, 1979 will be extended another year. The National Emergencies Act grants various powers to the president during times of emergency, and was intended to prevent a president from declaring a state of emergency of indefinite duration.
So all that has to happen to keep the Executive Branch on “Operation Overreach” is a little statement from the POTUS that he extends the State of National Emergency for one more year. How hard is that? Every year, when the deadline is up, the POTUS just renews ..sort of like your magazine subscriptions. No one stops him. Obviously the National Emergencies Act doesn’t do anything to prevent the constant, never ending state of emergency in the U.S.
Additionally, Wikipedia says that this National Emergencies Act was to prevent the Executive Branch from going over the limits when declaring rights suspended.
It was due in part to concern that a declaration of “emergency” for one purpose should not invoke every possible executive emergency power that Congress in 1976 passed the National Emergencies Act. Among other provisions, this act requires the President to declare formally a national emergency and to specify the statutory authorities to be used under such a declaration.
Somehow, I don’t think that Act had any effect on anything…but I guess someone tried to rein in the POTUS with that Act.
Linked on that Wikipedia page is a reference to the Reichstag Fire Decree in 1933 in Germany, a decree which gave Hitler ultimate powers without consent from the Reichstag (the German version of a parliament).
The Reichstag Fire Decree (German: Reichstagsbrandverordnung) is the common name of the Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State (German: Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat) issued by German
Paul von Hindenburg in direct response to the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933. The decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens. With Nazis in powerful positions in the German government, the decree was used as the legal basis of imprisonment of anyone considered to be opponents of the Nazis, and to suppress publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause. The decree is considered by historians to be one of the key steps in the establishment of a one-party
Nazi state in Germany.
As I read through the Reichstag event, and that last sentence about “one party Nazi state,” I thought about the Presidents from both parties in the U.S. who have continued this emergency power for themselves. Here, it doesn’t seem to matter which party is in control, they are both intent on concentrating that power into the Executive Branch. Why do we even have a Congress? Is it all window dressing? As far as I can see lately, Congress doesn’t do anything much other than give cover to the Executive Branch. They take the cues from the White House and then fund laws and regulatory agencies to choke off freedoms and rights. As Obama said recently, “If they won’t do it, I will.” What gave him that idea? The State of National Emergency, constant and never ending. Congress is impotent. I think they have rendered themselves impotent. I don’t know why they even show up …except of course to get the benefits and the ego massages.
Well, that’s my revelation for today, folks. Constant and never ending state of emergency…by design. No wonder we are all worn out. You can’t stay in a high state of emergency all of the time without a break. Even the most hardened, trained soldiers have to have R&R sometimes. But we aren’t getting that break. Our rights and freedoms are under attack constantly. And this explains, at least partially, why.
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