A healthy government is accountable to its people
Evan McMullin is a constitutional conservative who will reverse the unaccountable expansion of federal power at the expense of state and local government. He will restore the constitutional system of checks and balances, which designates Congress—not the president, the courts, or the bureaucracy—as the only body capable of making laws. Evan will appoint judges committed to upholding the Constitution as originally written and understood, instead of imposing their social agendas or legislating from the bench. These reforms will help to ensure that our country continues to have government by the people, of the people, and for the people.
In defiance of the Constitution, President Obama has relied on executive action to force through controversial proposals that failed to win support in Congress. When Congress refused to pass the immigration reforms that Obama wanted, he issued a de facto amnesty that would cover as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. When Obama failed to persuade Congress to restrict carbon dioxide emissions, Obama had the EPA issue a Clean Power Plan that would achieve his goals. Federal courts eventually blocked both Obama’s amnesty and the Clean Power Plan, yet Hillary Clinton has promised to defend and implement both of them.
Even when Congress does what Obama wants, he has taken new powers for himself that go far beyond legal limits. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), the president repeatedly made substantial changes to the program without congressional authorization. He suspended requirements, issued waivers, and even appropriated federal dollars without permission from Congress.
Under Obama, independent agencies have also begun to exceed the bounds of their authority. In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sought to block Boeing from operating an aircraft plant in South Carolina, not because Boeing broke any laws, but because South Carolina laws are less favorable to unions.
The volume of regulation has also increased substantially under Obama. As of mid-2016, the Obama administration has issued 600 major regulations, defined as those with a cost of at least $100 million each. The total cost of these regulations is $743 billion and they will require 194 million hours of paperwork to implement. In his remaining months in office, Obama may issue another 50 major regulations with a cost of $70 billion.
Contempt for the Law
For constitutional conservatives, neither of the leading candidates in this election provides much hope for a return to limited government and an effective system of checks and balances. Hillary Clinton is determined to pursue exactly the same unconstitutional policies as Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has a long record of contempt for free speech and property rights, especially when they interfere with his personal pursuit of wealth and power.
Throughout his career, Trump has employed lawsuits as a means of intimidating his critics. Even though Trump’s accusations of libel are mostly groundless, the threat of expensive litigation can serve as an effective deterrent against those who can’t afford to spend millions on lawyers. The Republican candidate’s contempt for First Amendment has led him to call “opening up” libel laws so that journalists would be more vulnerable to lawsuits. Trump also demanded that the FCC fine a journalist who had done nothing more than criticize him.
On more than one occasion, Trump has expressed support for taking away the Second Amendment rights of Americans who find themselves on the government’s highly inaccurate “no fly” list. Furthermore, his support for a national “stop and frisk” policy demonstrates his negligible concern for the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.
Trump has also encouraged and benefited from the abuse of eminent domain. When he wanted additional parking spaces for limousines at one of his casinos, he worked with a New Jersey state agency to take away the home of a widow whose property was needed for the parking lot. With the help of volunteer attorneys who were experts on eminent domain, the widow ultimately persuaded a court to block the state from taking her property.
Perhaps most disturbingly, Trump even insisted that if he gave illegal orders, he would force our troops to follow them. Trump indicated that he would employ torture and kill the families of terrorists, even though both American and international law prohibit such behavior.
In an effort to placate conservatives, Trump has promised to nominate Supreme Court justices who are committed to upholding the Constitution. No one should trust such promises. Trump’s record shows that what he wants are tame judges who will stand aside as he seeks to maximize his power.
Empowering the States
Evan McMullin believes in the wisdom of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves for state governments and for individuals all the powers that the Constitution doesn’t explicitly give to the federal government. The framers of the Constitution understood that what works best for Massachusetts might not work as well for Virginia. In addition, a government that is closer to the people is more accountable to the people.
By embracing a one-size-fits-all approach, numerous federal programs have become far more burdensome and less efficient than they ought to be. Even though Medicaid is in desperate need of reform, a thicket of federal regulations stands in the way of state-led innovation. While the federal government should encourage high standards for public education, Washington’s heavy-handed promotion of Common Core has set back the cause of reforming education.
As president, Evan would support House Joint Resolution 100, a proposed constitutional amendment for the re-empowerment of the states. This amendment would enable a two-thirds majority of the states to repeal any Executive Order, regulation, or administrative ruling issued by the executive branch.
Evan would also oppose new regulations unless there is a clear definition of the problem to be solved and compelling evidence that the cost of regulations would be less than their benefits. Evan also supports the REINS Act, which would require up or down votes by Congress on the most significant regulations that the executive branch introduces each year.
In addition, Evan would sharply reduce the number of unfunded mandates, which compel state governments to shoulder the cost of implementing federal regulations. He would also oppose legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act that delegates unlimited lawmaking powers to federal agencies.
Finally, Evan will appoint exceptionally qualified judges with a proven record of interpreting the Constitution as it was originally written. While the world today is much different than it was 1789, the Constitution embodies timeless principles that remain the foundation of limited government.
Today, after decades of federal expansion and executive overreach, there is a need to return to these foundational principles. Only Evan is committed to restoring our Founders’ vision and rebalancing our government to put power back in the hands of the people.