Forbes ponders dangerous threats to the rule of law

Steve Forbes‘ latest contributions to Forbes magazine include a sobering assessment of the current state of the American rule of law.

One question congressional and presidential candidates should be asked is how we should go about restoring the rule of law to our federal government. Not even during the world wars of the last century was the executive branch as brazen in assuming sweeping and unlegislated powers, changing laws without the consent of the legislative branch and ignoring laws it didn’t like.

Lawsuits are certainly one possible avenue to take, but a slow one–which is what the White House is counting on. It will do what it wants, and by the time an unfavorable decision is handed down, it will have done many other things. It will also find ways to circumvent such a decision or just ignore it altogether.

How will the Administration act when, as is likely, the Supreme Court delivers an adverse ruling concerning the President’s appointment of members to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate wasn’t technically in recess? Obama’s appointees went on to make rulings that were harmful to business. Of course, the Administration will promise to comply and will then pull who knows what cards it has up its sleeve to make an end-run around the decision.

The IRS got caught singling out conservative groups for harassment–and nothing was done. The President, with a straight face, told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that there wasn’t a “smidgen” of evidence of any corruption, and the Justice Department has made clear it’s deep-sixing any serious probe. But even worse is the fact that the IRS is readying regulation that will make it legal to deny tax exemptions to predominantly conservative groups, while it turns a blind eye to organizations more friendly to the Administration’s Big Government agenda.

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