"A government of laws, not men" is among the most succinct descriptions of what the Founders intended to establish with the U.S. Constitution.
Individual liberty is best protected when society is ruled by equally applied laws consented to by majorities of duly elected representatives of the people.
There's no room in that formulation for monarchial edicts, kingly proclamations or the decrees from satraps sitting on high.
Obama's 76 lawless actions
Since his election in 2012, Sen. Ted Cruz and his Senate staff have periodically compiled examples of what he views as lawless acts by President Obama and released them publicly.
The Texas Republican released his fourth such report earlier this week. It contains 76 examples -- mostly in the form of executive orders issued by Obama -- in which the chief executive substituted his will for the law.
There are seven policy areas in which Cruz identified examples of Obama abuses of presidential power. Here are the Cruz entries for just one of the seven areas:
Free speech and privacy
* Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.
* Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the administration believed pertained to “White House equities” — and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.
* Got secret permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search Americans' communications in its databases.
* The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80 percent of U.S. credit card transactions.
* Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co- conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.
* Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.
* Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near the White House to avoid disclosure requirements.
Something to think about
Cruz has become a lightning rod for liberal critics, and there is great debate among Republicans and conservatives about some of the Texas senator's approaches to the national debate.
Whatever one thinks of him, Cruz is asking a question that goes to the heart of the American experiment in self-government.
It's the same question Publius posed in the opening paragraphs of the Federalist Papers in noting that it has been given to the American people to decide:
"Whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
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Columnists/Michael Barone: GOP primary voters seem determined to nominate winners.
Columnists/Jed Babbin: Russia won't stop in Ukraine until sanctions start to hurt.
Columnists/Cal Thomas: Bringing Christianity into the public arena by court order only dilutes the faith.
Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: What else do the Koch brothers cause?
Beltway Confidential/Sean Higgins: UAW bosses went after Grover Norquist's intern.
Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: Study finds Romneycare saved lives - will Obamacare?
Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Patton Boggs agrees to pay Chevron $15 million in Ecuador case.
In other news
The Washington Post: House votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt.
The New York Times: Florida finds itself at center of global warming debate.
The Los Angeles Times: Abducted Nigerian girls put terrorist group on world map.
Washington Free Beacon: China signals plan to sanction North Korea for nuke tests.
The Daily Caller: Wasserman Schultz says economy helps Dems in 2014 election.
The American Thinker: National security dudes and dudettes in the Obama era.
The Federalist: The global warming debate is over and the enviros lost.
The Nation: What's wrong with the Electrify Africa Act.
Mother Jones: House committee votes unanimously to rein-in NSA.
Patterico's Pontifications: Teaching liberty to kids.
Talking Points Memo: Insurance execs stop GOP search for bad Obamacare news.
The Raw Story: U.S. scientists have created an entirely new form of life.