The Power to Define is the Power to Rule

By Pete McGinnis (RealClearPolicy Op-ed)

June 29, 2023

The federal legislative process is messy, slow, and littered with stumbling blocks – exactly as the Founders intended. Compromise and half-loaves are built into the system. The public can learn what legislation is up for vote, and members can slow down the process as they represent their constituents and work on their policy priorities. The sluggish pace frustrates activist government whether on the left and the right, so the executive branch finds workarounds: agencies promulgate regulations, the president issues executive orders, and so on.

Yet sometimes, in order to get what it wants, the government just changes how things are defined. The simple manipulation of language or the meaning of a word can often remove obstacles and give federal agencies what they couldn’t get through legislation.

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