Republican-Controlled State Legislatures are Challenging the Constitutionality of Presidential Executive Orders 

Various state legislatures are considering legislation that would grant state governments the power to ignore presidential executive orders that they deem to be unconstitutional. 

John Haughey of The Epoch Times noted that Missouri State Representative Brian Seitz is sponsoring legislation in the upcoming session of the Missouri General Assembly that would mandate state elected officials to review, and even ignore, several presidential executive orders.  Under Seitz’s legislation, House Bill 174, the Missouri House has to look over all presidential executive orders not backed by a Congressional vote to determine if “they are, in fact, Constitutional.”

In the case that the Missouri House has doubts about the presidential executive order’s constitutionality, the bill requires the executive order be sent to the state’s attorney general to determine if it “restricts a person’s constitutional rights.”

“I’m a firm believer in states’ rights, and am very concerned about losing our authority [as a legislature] to federal overreach,” Seitz stated.

The bill would cover presidential executive orders that are connected to the “regulation of business activities or personal behaviors during a pandemic or other public health emergency,” natural resources, the agricultural sector, land use, “the financial sector through the imposition of environmental, social, or governance [ESG] standards, and “the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

What’s taking place in Missouri is not an isolated incident. Since Joe Biden was installed in office in January 2021, similar bills have been introduced in Republican-controlled states such as Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, and South Carolina.

The Oklahoma and Tennessee bills went through committees to chamber votes in 2021 but ultimately were not enacted.

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) senior director for Homeland Security, International Relations, and Federalism Karla Jones declared that these bills are in response to “federal overreach that infringes on state sovereignty.”

“We just saw [the bills] proliferating because executive orders were becoming such a problem,” Jones said to The Epoch Times. “There was a lot of alarm among state lawmakers who care about federalism and worry about federal overreach.”

Jones noted that Biden was initially “on track to issue more executive orders than FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt].” She added, “He has since leveled off considerably and is now pretty equal with President Donald Trump, who also issued more executive orders than we thought was prudent.”

Per Ballotpedia, as of January 2, 2023, Biden had signed 106 executive orders. During his time occupying the White House, Trump issued 220 executive orders. FDR, arguably America’s most activist president, signed over 3,500 executive orders in his record-breaking 12 years in office.

There’s no meaningful reform coming from DC. Congress and the presidency is captured by a uniparty that’s addicted to big government, big spending, easy money, and never-ending war. It’s going to take states resisting federal encroachments to realize genuine change and restore freedoms lost since the Revolutions of 1913, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights era.

At the end of the day, all politics starts locally.   

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