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Why Does Congress Willingly Give Up Its Prerogatives To The Executive Branch?

{Editor’s Note: This is the 14th installment of a series of articles attempting to address the 32 questions posed by Ron Paul in his recent farewell speech given in front of Congress. Check out the previous installment, “Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?”}

The growth in power that the Executive Branch has experienced cannot be blamed upon a single individual, institution, or group. Responsibility for the vast power the President wields in US politics can be equally attributed to congress, each President, the Judicial Branch, the media, and the people of the United States. Blame should be assigned to Congress for ceding their legislative authority and also to the Presidents that have abused their power through use of executive privelege, executive orders, and waging of war without a Congressional declaration. The Supreme Court is at fault for affirming the power of these powers ceded to the Executive Branch. The media has aided the growth in power by creating a national narrative which depicts the Executive Branch as the originator and executor of legislation. Lastly, the people have allowed the balance of power to be distorted beyond recognition by not holding our electing official accountable to the Constitution.

The authors of the Constitution intended the Executive Branch to be the executor of policies legislated by Congress. The Constitution assigned certain prerogatives to each branch for a reason and did not define the role of the Executive Branch to include competition with the Legislative Branch in molding policy. This becomes especially relevant when discussing the Executive Branch’s abuse of power when claiming the power of executive privilege.

In an article published on this website in June of this year, President Obama’s use of executive privilege to protect Attorney General Eric Holder from being held in contempt was scrutinized. Holder withheld documents associated with the Fast and Furious scandal and Obama had his back.

Executive privilege basically gives the POTUS the power to protect himself and other members of the Executive Branch, under the guise of National Security, by way of resisting certain subpoenas and other information inquiries from the Judicial or Legislative Branches of government. Although the Supreme Court legitimized the use of executive privilege in United States v. Nixon, the abuse of executive privilege has further distorted the supposed balance of powers between the three branches of government. Throughout history, the power has been claimed to prevent a President from being forced to release potentially criminal or embarrassing information tied to the Executive Branch and then the claim has been followed by producing a partial release including only uncontroversial documents that were requested.

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Why even have a Congress?

If the President can do whatever he wants?

I think we'd have a lot less of this if the 17th Amendment did not take power of the Senate away from the States and was able to better keep the Executive in check.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*


even have a President or that matter?

Makes me Furious

Executive Privilege is one of the most insidious inventions in the history of this country.