Newly elected Republican Rep. Aaron Aylward of South Dakota has introduced a bill that, if passed, would allow the state’s attorney general to reject President Joe Biden’s executive orders if they are deemed unconstitutional.
The bill’s text reads:
"The Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council may review any executive order issued by the President of the United States, if the order has not been affirmed by a vote of the Congress of the United States and signed into law, as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States.”
“Upon review, the Executive Board may recommend to the attorney general and the Governor that the order be further examined by the attorney general to determine the constitutionality of the order and to determine whether the state should seek an exemption from the application of the order or seek to have the order declared to be an unconstitutional exercise of legislative authority by the President," it added.
In accordance to the proposed legislation, the state's attorney general, Jason Ravnsborg, would be able to keep South Dakota from any of Biden’s executive orders "that restricts a person's rights" or is determined "to be unconstitutional" if the order pertains to the following cases:
- 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
In an interview with local news outlet KELO-TV, Aylward explained that the bill wasn’t just made against Biden’s recent flurry of executive orders but to prohibit executive overreach in general. In turn, it would protect South Dakota as it would be given “much of its power back in a restoration of federalism in the state and nationwide.
“This isn't just a President Biden issue but rather an overall executive overreach issue that we've been experiencing for a long time," he said.
"The U.S. Congress has abdicated their duty for a long time in different areas. This bill is simply setting up a process to nullify acts that would be unconstitutional. When looking at the U.S. Constitution, the President only has the powers that are laid out in Article II."
Despite being just 20 days in office, President Biden has already signed a record-breaking 52 executive orders and actions, the most orders signed by a sitting president since FDR, who signed 30 during his first month in office.
Last October leading up to the 2020 election, Biden argued that ruling by executive order was dictatorial since “we’re a democracy”.
“I have this strange notion, we are a democracy … if you can’t get the votes … you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator,” he told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos at the time. “We’re a democracy. We need consensus.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Utah778
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.