On Abortion, Dems Take Lawlessness to Another Level
The problem used to be that judges wanted to be legislators. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs, legislators want to be judges. It’s a shift that seems to be exploding under Joe Biden, who has about as much use for the separation of powers as a menu at Haagen Dazs. Desperate Democrats, who can’t manage to get the courts, Congress, or voters on board with their radical agenda, have turned to the one thing that Barack Obama perfected: lawlessness.
Coming up on the one-month anniversary of Roe v. Wade’s end, more state and local officials than ever are stubbornly refusing to uphold pro-life laws. It’s a legal anarchy that has its roots in the Defense of Marriage Act — which the 44th president decided that he didn’t like, and therefore wouldn’t enforce. His decision turned out to be contagious, as everyone from the U.S. attorney general to his state counterparts chucked their oaths and substituted personal values for the law.
For eight years, the American people watched the Obama administration treat its founding document — not just with irreverence, but irrelevance. In between Supreme Court slapdowns on immigration, “health care,” recess appointments, and the limits of executive power, Obama operated like a functional king. Six years later, Biden seems intent on bringing those days back, laying the groundwork, The Hill warns, for our government to ignore the nation’s highest court.
Of course, this “pen and phone” redux is all the more ironic since the Supreme Court has been intent on reining in executive power — most recently at the EPA. And yet, almost immediately after the justices limited the agency’s authority to regulate power plants last month, the administration set about defying the justices, “disregard[ing] the Supreme Court’s direction to apply the statute as passed by Congress.” Instead, the agency is seeking to “self-aggrandize its authority at the expense of the rule of law. Sadly, executive agencies acting as roving lawmaker… is not isolated…”
Across the administration and blue states, Democrats are treating the enforcement of laws as a choice — not a legal imperative. In places like Wisconsin, this chaos extends to the very top. Shockingly, even the state’s chief executive, Tony Evers (D), has vowed to stop the state’s abortion ban from being enforced, creating a bizarre two-tiered system where Democratic laws are followed and Republicans’ are not. In the process, it’s put taxpayers in the bizarre position of paying for a system of government that the government itself is trying to circumvent.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) shakes his head. “The difference between a democracy and a monarchy or a dictatorship is that in a democracy, laws have to be written by a representative body, a congress, or a parliament. In a monarchy or a dictatorship, one executive decides what the rules are, and they enforce it.” What’s happening right now across so many spectrums, Yost told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, is “just fundamentally opposite our constitutional order.”
And unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the overreach iceberg. These unconstitutional power grabs are popping up all over the country, as angry radicals decide to pick and choose which laws to follow on abortion — including in solidly conservative states. Deep red Louisiana, like a lot of Republican-led jurisdictions, is dealing with a local mutiny as cities like New Orleans vow to “correct” the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe.
City Council member Helena Moreno (D) argued last week, “We’re a blue dot here, a city that is fighting for its people — for all of its people.” Dozens of prosecutors in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and other GOP-dominated states are equally determined to flout the law, brazenly insisting, as Indianapolis’s Ryan Mears did, “I think that this is a reminder that a prosecutor’s office can serve as a real check on the power of state government.”
Obviously, the Left’s contempt for the rule of law is nothing new. Americans have watched warily as the last two Democratic presidents built bigger bypasses around the Constitution than I-495. But this latest power grab — trampling two whole branches of government in their stampede for abortion until birth — is dangerous ground. The president and his party are breaking their longstanding contract with the American people.
Democracy isn’t pretty, and it can be a frustrating and imperfect process. But that’s how our laws have been made for the last 234 years — and political expedience is no excuse to change it. In times like these, when deep divisions threaten to rip the entire American experiment to shreds, the consent of the governed is one of the only things holding this country together. If we turn our backs on them now, the damage to our nation and future will be permanent.
Our Founding Fathers — and every generation since — shed a lot of blood to reject the kind of tyranny that the Democratic Party has come to represent. And while the Left’s leaders can try to bypass the law, one thing they cannot bypass is voters. One day very soon, it won’t matter how Democrats interpret the limits of their authority, because they’re about to confront the biggest: Election Day.
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.