June 30, 2017

A little light reading for your holiday weekend

By Jonathan Wood Attorney

My colleague Anastasia Boden and I have published several Independence Day themed op-eds to help you get into the proper mood to celebrate the Declaration of Independence.

In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, we explain that the Fourth is a perfect time to reflect on how great we have it compared to our Founding Fathers—despite how awful things may sound in the news or on social media. A taste:

If you ask just about anybody — or scroll through Facebook or Twitter — it seems like our society is on the verge of collapse. We are hopelessly divided and face one scandal after another. But as we approach the Fourth of July, it is a good time to remember that things aren’t so bad. In fact, they’re wonderful.

Consider how far we have come since our nation was born 241 years ago. Fighting the Revolutionary War, our Founding Fathers had problems far greater than King George’s tweets. They had no phones, no electricity and no cars, let alone the bare essentials. Washington’s soldiers marched across frigid terrain without shoes. They couldn’t argue about vaccines — there were none. They lived in a time when even the common cold could be fatal. The first Americans lived, on average, only until their mid-30s; today, many 30-somethings are still climbing out of adolescence.

Continue reading at the Charleston Gazette-Mail

And on Townhall, we celebrate property rights as the foundation of the Declaration of Independence’s protection of the pursuit of happiness—and criticize the Supreme Court’s terrible decision in Murr v. Wisconsin for eroding that foundation.

This Fourth of July, many of us will gather with friends and family around the barbecue to celebrate our country and the freedoms it was founded upon. It is a day for all to reflect on the Declaration of Independence’s recognition, 241 years ago today, of our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

For one Wisconsin family, this year’s celebration will feel less jovial than in years past. Two weeks ago, the nation’s highest court ruled against the family in a devastating decision that invites government to take away property rights and frustrate the pursuit of happiness.

Continue reading at Townhall

For something completely different, the Executive Director of PLF’s DC Center, Todd Gaziano, and I have give three cheers for the Congressional Review Act in National Review.

After more than 20 years of dormancy, Congress finally started to use the Congressional Review Act as intended this year — to seriously oversee the federal bureaucracy. So far, this Congress and President Trump have used the CRA to pass 14 laws disapproving regulations issued at the end of the Obama administration, and many more rules remain vulnerable because they were not previously sent to Congress, as the CRA mandates. Fans of the regulatory bureaucracy are not pleased; some are seemingly apoplectic. . . .

The enactment of the CRA was a small but significant step toward restoring democratic accountability over the administrative state. Not only do elected officials have a meaningful opportunity to review agency rules without supermajority roadblocks, but voters also can hold them accountable for their use or nonuse of that power.

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