Who Makes Our Laws? (Letter to the Editor)

Who Makes Our Laws? (Letter to the Editor)

June 02, 1999
Originally published in The New York Times

Surely Cass R. Sunstein is right that "greater respect for democratic government" is urgent ("The Courts' Perilous Right Turn," Op-Ed, June 2). But in his eagerness to accede to law made by unelected Federal agency employees rather than by Congress, he repudiates his own premise and advocates the principle of nondemocratic rule. The Constitution is unambiguous that "all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress."

It may be appropriate to delegate limited rule-making authority to agency technical experts. But to avoid conflicts like that over the Environmental Protection Agency's clean air standards, rules developed by the agencies should return to our elected representatives for (expedited) final approval before they are binding law.