The Constitution created three branches in the federal government: the legislature to make the laws, the executive branch to enforce the laws, and the judiciary to settle disputes about the laws. Yet the federal government we know and very much do not love doesn’t operate the way the Constitution says it should.

Instead, unelected bureaucrats write more rules than Congress does, the president cannot fire bureaucrats who oppose his efforts to keep his promises to the people, and the Supreme Court has unilaterally rewritten the Constitution on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and gender ideology.

Conservatives have launched many efforts to restore the federal government to the way the Constitution says it should work, but the Left has increasingly demonized those efforts as backward, racist, or—more recently—a form of authoritarianism.

In The New York Times, Maggie Haberman wrote: “Why a Second Trump Presidency May Be More Radical Than His First.” Among other things, Haberman warned that former President Donald Trump, were he to win the presidential election next year, “would seek to expand presidential power in myriad ways—concentrating greater authority over the executive branch in the White House, ending the independence of agencies Congress set up to operate outside of presidential control and reducing civil service protections to make it easier to fire and replace tens of thousands of government workers.”

Haberman seems not to remember how Trump’s administration fought against him in unjustified ways, operating as a “deep state” to prevent him from fulfilling his campaign promises. Preventing the executive branch from operating in this way is not a form of authoritarianism but an effort to bring bureaucrats back under the control of the voters’ elected representative.

Trump’s Agenda 47 and Project 2025, a conservative movement project led by The Heritage Foundation, aim to empower a conservative president to fire executive branch workers who would oppose the president’s goals. (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

Another key conservative reform, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, or REINS Act, would require Congress to pass regulations that would significantly impact the U.S. economy.

President Joe Biden’s White House pledged to veto the REINS Act if Congress were to pass it. The Office of Management and Budget said the act “would undermine agencies’ efforts by inserting into the regulatory process an unwieldy, unnecessary, and time-consuming hurdle that would prevent implementation of critical safeguards that protect public safety, grow our economy, and advance the public interest.”

While the Left frames these conservative reforms as “authoritarian,” Biden tried to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for certain borrowers, with the stroke of his pen. The Education Department estimated that this would cost $305 billion in the next 10 years. Had the Supreme Court not ruled the plan unconstitutional, the student loan bailout would have inflated college costs, hindered economic growth, rewarded increasingly woke universities, and benefitted upper-income earners at the expense of those who didn’t go to college or who paid off their loans.

Biden has made similarly unilateral moves to push his transgender orthodoxy and his climate alarmist agenda. Ironically, the president faces his own kind of “deep state,” bureaucrats who are opposing his pro-Israel rhetoric.

Meanwhile, the Left has orchestrated a campaign to delegitimize the Supreme Court, with outfits like ProPublica targeting justices such as Clarence Thomas.

The Left has attacked Thomas in part because the court’s majority now supports originalism, the view that the Supreme Court should uphold the original public meaning of the Constitution, as opposed to reinterpreting the text to achieve the Left’s goals.

Originalism grew as a reaction to the court’s decisions in cases such as Roe v. Wade (1973) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which twisted passages in the Constitution out of recognition to create new rights that the Founders and those who later amended the Constitution at the time of the 14th Amendment would have opposed.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., unwittingly revealed why the Left opposes originalism. He tweeted in 2020, “Originalism is racist. Originalism is sexist. Originalism is homophobic. Originalism is just a fancy word for discrimination.”

Markey’s problem isn’t Originalism—it’s that he isn’t willing to get his efforts opposing “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” and “discrimination” through Congress, the body that makes law, according to the Constitution. He’d rather have the Supreme Court dictate his preferred agenda, and he opposes the good-government reforms that make it harder for nine unelected judges to create new laws.

The Left’s attacks on the Supreme Court represent an obnoxious tantrum after the nation’s highest court has—at least for now—rejected its old modus operandi of writing the Left’s agenda into the Constitution. Now, the court increasingly calls balls and strikes, in ways that frustrate both sides of the aisle but more closely represent the Founders’ vision.

Efforts to rein in the deep state and encourage Congress to make laws, rather than passing off that duty to bureaucrats, echo the originalist movement in the judiciary. These reforms aren’t aimed at authoritarianism or gumming up the works—they’re aimed at making the federal government more accountable to the people once again.

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