from Charles C.W. Cooke in The National Review, Our Presidents Are Beginning to Act Like Kings
At best, Wilson’s argument is a good-faith but terribly naïve attempt to make government “work.” When the Supreme Court rules, as it did in 1989, that in an “increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems, Congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad general directives,” it is echoing the contention of men who believed that it was important to take certain questions out of the political realm so that they might be better answered.
Somewhere within this contention there is a kernel of truth. If the federal government is to work effectively, at least some delegation will have to be permitted. But while it is one thing to acknowledge that Congress does not have the time to engage every small-ball question, it is quite another to endorse legislators’ filling our laws with endless invitations to executive caprice. Here, as elsewhere, to accept that occasional exceptions must be granted is by no means to demolish the rule. There is a difference between a legislature’s charging the executive with certain narrowly specified tasks and a legislature’s delegating broad legislative powers to that executive. Slowly but surely, we have forgotten this.