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“I’ve got a pen . . . “

This thinly veiled threat to, in effect, legislate by executive edict, spoken by the President of the United States, should cause every friend of the Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of powers, limited government, and political liberty to shudder. Who does this man think he is? A medieval king? He may have a pen, but we have a Constitution. And that Constitution vests all legislative powers granted to the United States in the Congress. It is the duty of the President to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. It is not within the scope of the powers of his office to make laws or amend them by fiat.

Mr. President, you can use your pen to sign legislative acts passed by the Congress into law, or to veto such acts (though your veto is subject to a possible override). You have no authority to rule by executive order. I repeat: We have a Constitution.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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