Concentrated power imperils liberty

Last week’s decision in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought into fine focus the fact that one of the greatest threats to individual liberty is the unchecked growth of the administrative state. Because the enactment and enforcement of laws will often intrude upon an individual’s exercise of his or her rights, our founding fathers wisely envisioned a system of government that held each of the three co-equal branches in check to one another and ultimately in check to the public. Thus, if Congress enacts an unlawful law, it can be restrained by the judicial or executive branches. If the law is unpopular, then congressmen can find themselves voted out of office.

That system works, however, only when government bodies are subject to checks and balances. The growth of administrative agencies—particularly those that are made unaccountable to the President or Congress—is a direct affront to that system of and must be stopped; otherwise, we risk allowing the very type of tyranny that our founding fathers fought against.

Last week, the San Francisco Daily Journal published an op-ed from PLF attorneys Brian T. Hodges and Tony Francois commenting on the PHH Corp. decision and its implications.