State Rep. Aaron Aylward (R-Harrisburg) introduced a bill to the South Dakota House of Representatives that would give the state’s attorney general the ability to review executive orders from the President.
Orders that were found unconstitutional via an elaborate process involving an Executive Council of the Legislative Research Board, the attorney general, and the governor would not be followed. The bill says it is specifically designed to address overreach in the following areas:
- A pandemic or other public health emergency
- The regulation of natural resources
- The regulation of the agricultural industry
- The regulation of land use
- The regulation of the financial sector through the imposition of environmental, social, or governance standards, or
- The regulation of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms
According to the Daily Wire:
The process to potentially nullify an executive order, which by nature bypasses congressional approval, “begins with a review by the Executive Council of the Legislative Research Board, followed by a referral from the Council to the attorney general and the governor,” South Dakota news station KELO-TV reported last week. “Once the referral has been made, the attorney general may examine the order to determine whether the state can seek an exemption or declare it unconstitutional.”
On the one hand, just about anything that limits the power of the federal government and transfers power back to the states is a good thing practically by definition. That goes double for executive orders, which have been used for increasingly dubious purposes by both parties as legislation has become harder and harder to pass. That being said, this ultimately just seems like a court challenge with extra steps. If let’s say, Joe Biden mandates via executive order that everyone, everywhere has to wear masks all the time, including when they’re outside or at home and this process correctly found that to be an illegal executive order, what would be the next step? A court challenge. More court challenges to executive orders, which are increasingly becoming a way to do an end-around the democratic process, would be a good thing. So, if this is what we need to do to get there, let’s do it.
John Hawkins is the author of 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know.