Last Updated:October 19 @ 02:00 pm

Shapiro: A Government of Men, Not Laws

By Ben Shapiro

"There is no good government but what is republican," John Adams wrote. "(T)he very definition of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.'" Adams meant that a government in which law is applied at the discretion of powerful people is a bad government. The law must be applied in a straightforward, nonarbitrary fashion or the entire governmental system should be called into question.

This week, the Supreme Court called the entire governmental system into question.

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama unilaterally declared that he would cease to enforce major provisions of federal immigration law. Now he's campaigning on that reckless disregard for the constitutional structure. "You can decide whether it's time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they were brought here as children of undocumented immigrants," he told an audience in Boston. "I know where I stand on this."

Actually, we can't decide. That's because President Obama decided for us. And when we try to decide for ourselves via state governments, we are told that we're violating the constitutional order.

That's precisely what happened in the Supreme Court's decision about Arizona's SB 1070. Essentially, the Court found that the state of Arizona couldn't enforce immigration law, even if the federal government refused to enforce its own immigration law. By this logic, if the federal government passed a law regarding kidnapping across state lines, then refused to enforce it, a state which decided to arrest people for kidnapping at all would be in violation of the Constitution. As Justice Antonin Scalia put it in dissent, "(T)o say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind."

It does boggle the mind. But not the liberal mind, which is far more interested in placing dictatorial power in the hands of a massive federal government than in preserving the constitutional structure. Every time someone has the gall to mention states' rights, liberals imply that America's just a few steps away from reinstituting slavery; each time somebody has the temerity to suggest that states -- which absorb virtually the entire cost of illegal immigration -- ought to be able to police their own borders when not in conflict with federal law, liberals raise the specter of racial profiling and lynch mobs.

It's sheer nonsense, but it plays into the liberal agenda: maximization of federal power, by any means possible. And the easiest means to maximize federal power is to place unlimited power in the hands of the president of the United States.

There is a danger for liberals, however: What happens if a conservative gains the reins of power? If the executive branch can simply ignore implementation of any law a president doesn't like, how about Obamacare? How about the vast and growing entitlement system?

Liberals don't want to think about this possibility, because theirs is a politics of expedience rather than of principle. While conservatives worry about institutional power, liberals flit from position to position on the issue, depending who is in power. That's a recipe for governmental disaster. Because sooner or later, somebody no one likes will be in power -- and armed with a government free of all checks and balances, he or she will do something truly outrageous. That is, if President Obama hasn't already done so.

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Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the four-time bestselling author of "Primetime Propaganda."

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

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24 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    June 27, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    “(T)o say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.” My friends, it does NOT boggle the mind of the pickle headed Liberal.

    Ever wonder why most Liberals are open to legalizing drugs? It is because they are part of the 40 million Americans who abuse them and make up the hard core true believers of the Democarat party radical wing.. Ever wonder why they are against closing our borders to illegal immigration. It is because their greatest fear is that their supply of drugs will be cut off and the mayhem of a Katrina super bowl government aftermath will ensue.

    Liberals are as hooked on the drugs of a physically progressive altered dependency brain, just as a drug addict is hooked on heroin which alters the structure of the brain to align it to become dependent upon it. Ever wonder why Liberal Progressives are obsessed with sex, degenerate or straight? It is because drugs like heroin and morphine mimic the same dependency addictive endorphins released in the human body during sexual arousal. To the confused drug dependent government dependent addict, this IS the new paradigm of existence according to their Liberally altered state of mind. Losing their drugs of dependency or government dependency that gives them free food and housing to free up their own money to purchase the real drugs is what they fear most and what drives them to radical states of aggression. This is why sober Americans must cut them off cold turkey from both in the voting booth to substitute a sobering caffine laced tea party for their hungover party of drugs.

    Imagine a normal human being as a firm healthy cucumber, then imagine a liberal as a pickle that looks and acts somewhat like a healthy cucumber except for the fact that their brains have been altered and pickled. This is what you are dealing with when you elect a radical liberal progressive socialist of the dependency mindset to run your nation. They are mostly not really evil,,,,,just living their lives in an altered state of mind. That is why you should never vote them into office as they will always default their behavior to their addiction even if it props up illegality and may even cost them a Presidency. Enter Obama and his illegal immigration policies, and unconstitutional Heathcare which ensures there will always be a free doctor available when they finally overdose. It’s called survival of the liberal nation of addictive personalities. The sane normal people of American need to stop buying into the addiction, and vote them all out of office, as they are dangerous to us and dangerous to themselves when America gets ruled by a nation of dependency addicts where laws mean nothing but the controlling dependencies of men mean everything when it comes to the wielding and misuse of power.

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    • flodnar143Comment by flodnar143
      June 27, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

      I enjoy reading your posts. The reality of the Liberal Kool-aid is that facts never matter.
      My Grandmother had an expression. Translated from German, it meant ” I know what I know, and that is it”. End of discussion. I think of her everytime I hear a liberal. Watching Fox, you know how Bob Beckel or Juan Williams will respond. Many times the response does not match the question.BUSH did it. End of story!

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 27, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      My German Grandmother also used to say “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you what you are.” In reality our friends are laws which offer us continuity in justice, sanity and equality,, not men who disobey them.

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  2. jdb121Comment by jdb121
    June 27, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    It is difficult to understand why those who have historically been the objects of discrimination don’t seem to understand this issue and do not see the necessity for discrimination against those who choose to incriminate themselves by transgressing the law. It could be no simpler and no clearer.

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    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      June 27, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

      Absolutely correct! We are required by nature itself to discriminate; to choose between things that are good for our continued existence, and those things that would most likely bring us to an early demise, or run ins with the law and legal system. Every time I hear about a shooting, stabbing domestic violence, or a child’s death, I ask myself how it can be, that grown people lack the ability to understand that the reason for all these “restrictive” laws and regulations, are to keep us all safe from our weaker selves, who, without those laws, would not know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad!

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  3. JDZComment by JDZ
    June 27, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    All you have to do is look at the state of California as the “poster child” of a Democrat dominated government that has been basically taken over by these “mind altered” liberals who have been smart enough to leverage the immigration issue to their advantage and use the Hispanic voting block to take over government in California at all levels. They basically support illegal immigration and have refused to implement our immigration laws. Our largest urban cities are proud to call themselves “sanctuary cities” who consciously circumvent the implementation of our immigration laws. The liberals who control California are staffed with atheists, transgenders, gays, supporters of pornography, anti-religious zealots, activist communists/socialists, extreme environmentalists, and many naive “do gooders” who really do not realize what is actually happening. These people are so obsessed with social issues that they have totally forgotten what the priority role of government must be and that is why the state is in such a poor financial state. It currently has a 16 Billion dollar deficit and continues to cut government services in a futile attempt to pay its bills. Government at all levels in California, under liberal control, graciously gave away the store to the the public service unions who not only control most elected politicians, but have been granted salaries and benefits so lavish and unaffordable that cities in California are now looking at declaring bankruptcy as a way to survive. The unions are still stubbornly refusing to renegotiate the terms of their contracts.

    This is where our federal government is heading under the Obama administration but even worse because of the radical socialist policies of this administration and the Obama arrogant actions to undermine the laws of the land for political purposes. He wants to bend and reinterpret our Constitution and reshape how our government works to give the executive branch unparalleled power to basically do whatever he wants without any checks and balances. Obama wants to be the dictator of a “banana” republic not the USA.

    He must be defeated in November.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 27, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

      The federal government is suffereing the same deliterious effects of failed Liberal social experiments on borrowed money that are bankrupting States like California and Illinois. The ony difference is that the Feds can postpone the inevitable by printing money that the states cannot. California and Illinois are the canaries in the coal mine and when their economic lights go out the miners need to abandon the liber mine and the liberal mind and return above ground into the light of reality,,,,or die where they currently reside.

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    • commonsenseneededComment by commonsenseneeded
      June 27, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

      Our Liberal Democrat Governor Brown, has been drinking the Socialist Kool Aide for so long, he really believes that California Voters are going to volunteer themselves (and those who are against it) to increased taxes! What he needs to do, is grow a set like Arizona’s governor has done, and start cracking down on illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities, and that will automatically reduce the demand for social services, health services, schools and bi-lingual English learners’ classes. Uphold our Constitution and banish these illegal squatters from our cities and towns, and our country will be better off, all the way around.

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    • cxComment by genesal
      June 28, 2012 @ 11:14 am

      Gov Brown wasn’t any better the first time (my college days)

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  4. NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
    June 27, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    The Constitution, supported by other writings of the time, is quite clear about what role the Founders intended for the Executive branch. His power, in terms of new legislation, is limited to the use of a veto. The legislative Branch is reponsible for the crafting of new laws. The Executive branch is responsible for making sure those laws are carried out efficiently and equally.

    Today we find ourselves in a situation where the Executive branch routinely chooses which laws it will enforce and which it will ignore. Whether it is DOMA, immigration law, voter intimidation/ID laws, environmental laws or other laws, this administration chooses when and where it will ensure the law is carried out. And when no law is in place, this President creates new laws via Executive Order. What can we call such an executive?

    Tyranny is the arbitrary application of laws against which the common citizen has no recourse.

    This July 4th, read the Declaration of Independence and ask yourselves this: are Americans any more free now than they were under King George?

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  5. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    June 27, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    While we await the contempt hearings of Holder, the wrong person is being addressed with that charge, for Holder is a mere lackey for his boss who has demonstrated absolute contempt for the Congress, the Constitution, and the United States of America. When will we learn from Honduras?

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    • vComment by v
      June 27, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

      You are very correct…..I was actually priviledged to work for the son of the Gentleman that was President of Honduras 14 times….they did everything possible to keep Honduras a free country! He told me then that the Illegal Aliens and large quanties of immigrants that were being allowed to enter the US from Marxist/Communist/Socialist countries were going to ruin the US! I listened tried to get others to listen……but people never want to hear the real truth!

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  6. pop71Comment by pop71
    June 27, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    The majority of decisions and edicts made by this administration (regime) boggle the mind because they go directly against the Constitution. This so called leader has done very little in the vein of leading, but in the vein of campaigning he has not wavered one iota. Nor has he stopped his politically motivated RULING from on high.

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  7. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    June 27, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    Obama’s ‘coin toss’ logic to the individual states of this union are ” Heads I win, Tails you lose”.

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  8. cxComment by genesal
    June 27, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

    A Government of Men? Maybe of Eunuchs. I don’t see much Govermenting going on. (yes I know there is no such word)

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  9. krhealeoComment by krhealeo
    June 27, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    Sadly, if we are to believe Romney’s ads in Virginia, apparently Romney thinks that if elected HE will become Emperor, rather than President. He says on his first day in office HE will repeal ObamaCare. If the Republicans do not control both the House and the Senate, pray tell HOW will Romney repeal ANYTHING? Has he gotten so used to Emperor Obama that he thinks that he too is going to be anointed as Emperor Romney? Presidents can end foolish things initiated by Executive Order by their predecessors, but they cannot, again unless they presume to rule by Emperor-like decrees, repeal laws that have been passed by Congress and signed by a previous President.

    Presidents, according to our Constitution, are given the responsibility of enforcing the laws of the land, not deciding what the laws are to be. Congress would have to pass bills doing away with ObamaCare and then submit the bill to Romney for his signature. That is how it is done under a Republican form of government. If Romney gets in, and thinks that he also has the power to dictate what will and will not be law, it will be so much more of the same but just a whiter shade of pale.

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    • NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
      June 27, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

      Excellent point! Sometimes we are guilty of assuming that an incoming Republican president can solve all our problems. He can do nothing without Congress.

      I remember during the primary debates Ron Paul was asked what he would do about returning States rights and turning back the erosion of the 10th amendment. He said he would veto any bill that he felt violated the 10th amendment. That’s it. Finally, someone who understands the role of the executive branch.

      Perhaps Romney should not promise that HE will do anything unless he qualifies it by saying “I will work with Congress to…” or “I will recomment to Congress that..”.

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  10. middlegroundComment by middleground
    June 27, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

    The actions of Obama and the Obama administration in saying they won’t enforce laws if they don’t like them for political reasons is even older than our Constitution and is directly tied to the concept of the “Divine Right of Kings”, namely, kings because of their special ancestral relationships may ignore any and all restrictions on their power. This topic is ignored in our Constitution because by 1776 the concept of limited imperial power had already been settled in England by a violent civil war which ended with King Charles I being beheaded. By 1776 the concept was one of how much power and privilege an hereditary feudal bureaucracy should have and should colonists have rights and protections from arbitrary edicts and acts of Parliament in a manner similar to other Englishmen? Not only did the Federalist Papers discuss this topic, but the beautifully written book by Thomas Paine Common Sense laid it out for all to read. Essentially, laws and Rights need to apply equally all. One of the points of anger was that common citizens went to prison for not paying off their debt, but the nobility did not, thus a merchant who couldn’t pay his bills went to prison, but the noble who owed the merchant money would not suffer the same punishment. I suppose you could say this was the 18th century equivalent of our “hate crime” laws where crimes against one group of citizens by another group are treated differently.

    A few years ago a president saying he wouldn’t enforce a court decision or a law because he didn’t like it because it might cost him votes, would have immediately found himself impeached and facing trial in the Senate. My how times have changed and it isn’t because of race, but because of an assumption of executive power that directly violates Constitutional restrictions. The Senate Democrats should be just as appalled by this power grab as the Republicans because it violates the separation of powers. We do not have a Parliamentary System, we have a separation of powers systems with three branches designed specifically to avoid exactly this type of power grab.

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  11. KathleenComment by Kathleen
    June 27, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    Nicely written article, Mr. Shapiro. It’s clear you are a rising star in the sea of pundits, and I congratulate you on your cogent explanation. Not everyone can be as “user friendly” as this column, but you communicate complexities well. “Explain it to me like a four year-old” is the way I like it, and I have a graduate degree in a tough field. Well done.

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  12. jqcitizenComment by jqcitizen
    June 27, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    It continues to amaze me that with and abundance of lawyers occupying Congress and an Attorney General in each State that Obama and his minions are still in their respective offices. They have flagrantly infringed on and disregarded the both the rights of States, of Congress, and individuals and have violated both their oath of office and the Constitution. They should not only be impeached but should also be charged with dereliction of duty, misuse of funds, fraud, and if possible treason. While many of the lower court have dismissed charges saying that plaintiffs have no standing, I would remind them that every Citizen, every State, and every Representative is damaged when elected officials violate there oath and ignores or circumvent the Constitution. Any Judge or elected Representative who condones or enables this activity is guilty of at least dereliction of duty. Our primary problem is not the economy or our society, it is the fact that we as a Country have allowed the violation of our founding documents. Only if this violation is reversed will we be able solve the lessor problems.

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  13. vComment by v
    June 27, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    There has got to be a way to stop this *ss before the election???

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  14. JDZComment by JDZ
    June 27, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    Those of you that are concerned about Romney becoming an Emperor if he gets in office really have not done their homework on Romney, or Obama for that matter.

    The radical background of Obama, for example, was not exposed when he ran for President in 2008 and the MSM refused to cover it at all in 2008. The only major network that questioned his relationships with Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, George Soros, Rev Wright, and many others with communist and Marxist backgrounds was the FOX network which Obama hates with a passion. The Dems are doing their best to suppress any public exposure in this election cycle of his radical background as well. I hope that the Romney campaign team takes the gloves off and puts the facts out there fr everyone to know and factor into their choice or the next President. There is a video on Utube that the administration has banned that summarizes the background of Obama from birth and it is scary where this guy came from and how he was educated and trained. Go to http://www.richfieldretirement.com/wp-content/themes/rfr/getya.html
    and check it out. All Barack Obama knows is politics. He has never really held a real job.

    On the other hand, Mitt Romney is an open book as to his background from birth to the present time. His personal life is clean as he is an excellent Father and Husband and has no scandals or other issues or we would have heard about it by now. His college background including his grades, etc. are available o the public. His extremely successful professional career has made him a wealthy man who is only running for President to “give back” to the country that allowed him the opportunity to become as successful as he has been. He was Governor of Massachusetts and did not take a salary and if he becomes President he will likely give his salary to charity or not take it at all.

    He is a problem solver, not a problem maker like Obama. Romney is a real professional and sophisticated senior executive who can draw on years of successful experience in our private economy, which is the drivetrain of our capitalistic system, to find the best way to turn around our economy and create jobs in the private sector which our millions of middleclass Americans desperately need.

    Romney is a winner…Obama is a radical antiAmerican socialist community organizer who is hellbent on “transforming” our country into a banana republic that he can control. He hates our Constitution and what it stands for and continues to selectively enforce our laws that work for him politically. He is the most dangerous man ever elected President of this country.

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    • JDZComment by JDZ
      June 27, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      Do not use the website I put in the above comment, it is bogus and not the one I wanted to give you. The real website is http://youtube.com/watch?v=1-HqHSkG-Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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    • cxComment by genesal
      June 27, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

      Yes, but Romney is being hurt by O adds in swing states and really needs to step it up.

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