In whatever direction we turn, we find the heavy hand of government intruding into virtually every aspect of American society. Indeed, it has reached the point that it would a lot easier to list those areas of people’s lives into which government does not impose itself – and, alas, it would be a very short list. But it was not always that way.
Barack Obama is finishing his fifth year as president, and continues to try to move America further in the direction of increased government paternalism with the implementation of ObamaCare, a push for a higher minimum wage, more intrusive business regulation, a drive for higher taxes to redistribute wealth, and a persistent insistence that individuals must sacrifice their own interests for that of “society.”
Lincoln understood that the intertwining of free labor and property rights was essential to securing and maintaining the liberty espoused by the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution.
An opportunity to move back toward reinstituting the protections of economic freedoms (and away from the unbridled deference paid to police power legislation) has presented itself in the Great State of Louisiana.
Official, governing opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Justice Department state that the President has the power to decline to enforce laws he believes are unconstitutional. “But these opinions have always insisted that the President has no authority…to ‘refuse to enforce a statute he opposes for policy reasons.’”
Why should unduly burdensome regulations that place obstacles in the path of those looking to exercise one right be struck down while equally burdensome regulations that infringe on another right are upheld?
If the demonization of the enforcement of intellectual property rights were to catch on, the brightest among us would be significantly less likely to invent in every case where the benefits of expending the effort do not overwhelmingly outweigh the costs.
Anything the Congress does still must be constitutional. As the Court reiterated yesterday, the Voting Rights Act “imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs” and that “a departure from the fundamental principle of equal sovereignty requires a showing that a statute’s disparate geographic coverage is sufficiently related to the problem that it targets.”