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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

In a Constitutional Government There is No Such Thing as Petty Abuse of Power

     Presidents, governors, and mayors are members of the executive branches of their governments. As such, they exist to enforce laws passed by congress, state houses, and city councils. These leaders do not have the power to create laws. Moreover, there isn't a judge in the country who can enact a criminal law. Judges, members of the judicial branch, can only interpret existing legislation. For example, if the court holds that a particular law violates a clause or article in the U.S. Constitution, the judge or justices can invalidate that statute.

     The only government officials empowered to make specific behavior a crime punishable by law are members of legislative bodies. And there is no exception to this constitutional doctrine, not even a pandemic or good intentions. Therefore, when a governor or mayor sends police officers to arrest people for not wearing face masks or not "social distancing," unless this specific behavior violates a criminal law passed by a legislative body, the governor or mayor is acting outside of his or her authority. This is executive branch abuse of power, and the public should not stand for it.

     In a democracy, there is no such thing as petty abuse of power. 

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