Reorganizing the Executive Branch and Deconstructing the Administrative State | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Reorganizing the Executive Branch and Deconstructing the Administrative State

Posted by on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 2:40 PM

static1.squarespace.jpg
On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order christened a "comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive branch." The order directs the "Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs."

That's right, to get rid of federal agencies. And we can guess which ones they will be. When Trump's budget is released later this week, it will likely become even more painfully clear what the regime's chief strategist Steve Bannon meant when he talked about the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

But we've got a pretty good sense of how this is going to go, with the Post reporting that Trump's budget proposal "would shake the federal government to its core," which is precisely what Bannon hopes to do.

“If you look at these Cabinet nominees, they were selected for a reason, and that is deconstruction,” Bannon said at the ultra-right CPAC conference.

It seems he is using the fancy word "deconstruction" to add intellectual heft—and perhaps to troll leftist professors—when the executive order made it clear he really just means "destruction." And the executive order calls on the heads of all of the agencies to look for ways to eliminate them.

Most of the agencies are still wildly understaffed, allowing the administration to bemoan a lack of Democratic cooperation while also achieving their goals by means of “beachhead” teams, which, as a Pro Publica investigation showed, are stocked with the kinds of outcast Trump loyalists that sound more at home in a James Ellroy book than a federal agency.

But two other appointments also highlight this desire to deconstruct the administrative state beyond cabinet positions. Both Neil Gorsuch, whose Supreme Court confirmation hearings are set to begin next week, and recently named solicitor general Noel Francisco have questioned the legal framework of the administrative state.

Francisco, who was appointed last Wednesday, explained the issue in a written statement to a House committee in 2011:

“Every student of high school civics understands the basic contours of our system of separated powers: The Legislative Branch makes the law. The Executive Branch enforces the law. And the Judicial Branch interprets the law. But consider how this often plays out in the modern administrative state: Congress passes a broad and open-ended law, leaving it to an Executive Branch administrative agency to '‘fill in the gaps’ through administrative regulation.The agency then promulgates regulations interpreting and implementing that open-ended law. And when the issue gets to the judiciary, the courts, as a general matter, defer to Congress’s decision to delegate to the agency the policy-making functions in the first place.”

(Francisco also argued on behalf of now-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s coal company when Congress investigated the Sago Mine disaster, for which it was responsible. It's not easy to see this disaster as a template for what to expect as regulations are "left to" the states.)

As acting solicitor general, Fransisco argued for the disastrous Trump travel ban. And of course, in the scenario above, he is right in line with the administration’s desire to change the way Washington works.

Gorsuch is also on record as opposing the Chevron doctrine, which rules that courts will defer to agencies when it comes to the interpretation of statutes or provisions under their control. Gorsuch argued that the doctrine allows “executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution.”

While this might seem like a check to the president’s attempt to consolidate power, it actually enables the administration to take power away from the agencies, while strengthening the hand of the chief executive and his handpicked coterie of radicals.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

Want to experience the Wild West of the 19th century through an open world action adventure third-person video game?
Rockstar …

by David190 on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

My name is shelly moore i want to talk about something that I am just very excited about; I had …

by Shelly Moore on Drive Through a Protest and Hit Someone? No Worries, State House Says. (News)

Most Recent Comments

Want to experience the Wild West of the 19th century through an open world action adventure third-person video game?
Rockstar …

by David190 on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

My name is shelly moore i want to talk about something that I am just very excited about; I had …

by Shelly Moore on Drive Through a Protest and Hit Someone? No Worries, State House Says. (News)

man, that is so cold and heartless. it is very hard to find an affordable apartment much less find the …

by swabby on Despite Previous Agreement, Low-Income Forest Hill Apartments Residents Again to Vacate by April 30 or Face Eviction (News)

Hello Dear Loan Seeker,

I am a private, reliable, trustworthy lender; I render loans to companies and individuals at …

by Robert Green on Hog-Farm-Protection Bill Passes Senate (News)

And THIS is why we have the government we do. Money, plain and simple, buys votes. If you give enough …

by Brannon White on Beer and Wine Wholesalers Gave $53K to ABC Committee Members Last Year, Beat Back a Proposal to Raise Breweries’ Self-Distribution Cap (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation