Magazine February 8, 2010, Issue

A Republic, If You Want It

(Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
The Left’s overreach invites the Founders’ return

Our federal government, once limited to certain core functions, now dominates virtually every area of American life. Its authority is all but unquestioned, seemingly restricted only by expediency and the occasional budget constraint.

Congress passes massive pieces of legislation with little serious deliberation, bills that are written in secret and generally unread before the vote. The national legislature is increasingly a supervisory body overseeing a vast array of administrative policymakers and rulemaking agencies. Al­though the Constitution vests legislative powers in Congress, the majority of “laws” are promulgated in the guise of “regulations” by bureaucrats who are mostly unaccountable and invisible to

Matthew Spalding is the associate vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College in Washington, D.C., where he is the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Chair in Constitutional Studies.

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