American Revolution’s Two Lessons for Times like Now
(1) No lawmaking without representation. (2) Local freedom spreads.
January 2, 2022
No Lawmaking without Representation
On November 22nd, Missouri Circuit Judge Daniel Green wrote in a declaratory judgment that:
[Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services] regulations also authorize an individual health agency director to close a school or place of public assembly if “in the opinion of the [health official] the closing is necessary to protect the public health.” 19 CSR 20-20.050(3).
Thus, the state delegated rulemaking power to an administrative agency, and the administrative agency, has in turn, delegated broad rulemaking power to an unelected administrative official.
This type of double delegation, which results in lawmaking by an administrative entity, is an impermissible combination of legislative and administrative power .
Double delegation is chiefly a problem because it’s delegation.
Delegation—where unelected government people exercise absolute power, depriving persons of life, liberty, or property—is a problem that’s ancient . Naturally, delegation was addressed by the American Revolution.
Delegation is unconstitutional .
Legislatures and only legislatures, with executives signing, must enact any and all rules and penalties.
All legislative powers granted in the Constitution are vested in the USA’s congresses . This means that the national government’s legislative power constitutionally can’t be delegated to others.
A republican form of government is guaranteed to the people of each state , and therefore is guaranteed to be provided by both state and local governments. This means that the state and local governments’ legislative powers also constitutionally can’t be delegated to others.
Very likely every charter in every jurisdiction includes among its most-fundamental rules that all legislative power in the jurisdiction is vested in the jurisdiction’s legislature.
And yet now every jurisdiction has bureaucracies, and the bureaucrats exercise absolute power. Bureaucrats legislate rules and penalties themselves, executively assess rule violations, and judicially mete out penalties on we the people.
Under Progressives, the USA’s governments now put people under the very tyrannies that the USA’s people fought the American Revolution to escape. We the people now are just richer, less armed, and less organized.
The solution is for voters to make at least one jurisdiction’s legislators and executives do the right things here:
The jurisdictions that voters can most-quickly change are local governments.
Local Freedom Spreads
The United States of America came from a small group of colonies.
The colonies took their local best practices that had proven to increase freedom, added some innovations that in theory would further increase freedom, and instituted all these changes in a minimalist national government.
These united states had a population that, although larger than the populations of the individual states, was still relatively small.
From that burst of local innovation, the resulting increased freedom spread more widely.
These united states were just one location in a wider wave of local innovation and subsequent spread that greatly increased the products produced per person, creating our modern way of life.
The innovation started in the small Dutch Republic. It spread first to larger England.
From both the Dutch Republic and England, this innovation spread to the American Colonies. These became the USA and eventually became much larger .
By now, this innovation has spread much-more widely, including—to growing extents—spreading out to the world’s largest nations.
What has been at work throughout has been a process of natural selection.
In biological natural selection, any small difference that makes an individual more fit to reproduce eventually becomes ubiquitous.
In economic and political natural selection, the changes that make an organization more fit to serve its population can be big and can be adopted by other organizations very quickly .
Lawmaking only with representation can be instituted at any time, in any place.
It will increase freedom, and freedom will produce better results . Very soon, people will choose this for themselves in more and more other places.
We just need lawmaking only with representation to get started somewhere. This practice will crystallize widely once we form a seed crystal.
The time to start is now. The place to start is locally.
James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, and American Greatness, and publishes rConstitution.us. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.