By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” James Madison
The most dangerous power in our government today is the administrative power. It is the power — given to the executive branch by the legislative branch and upheld by the judicial branch — which makes rules that are enforced and adjudicated in totality by the executive branch. Did you know that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop was prosecuted and sentenced by the administrative power, not by a jury of his peers as guaranteed by the sixth amendment of the Constitution?
The legislature frequently gives rulemaking authority to the hundreds of departments, agencies, boards, and commissions it creates under the executive branch. These rules act as laws. We saw that first-hand during the recent pandemic as the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment put forth rules to keep certain businesses from opening their doors in response to the governor’s executive orders.
James Madison called this administrative power the very definition of tyranny. Government, in its absolute form, is force and control. Before the homeschool law passed in 1988, local school districts had the power to approve a family to homeschool, or not. As the government grows, the control they have over our lives in every area also grows. Education is not an exception.
Homeschoolers who use public-school programs should know that once they enroll in these programs, they lose some autonomy afforded to them by the homeschool law. The increased control might take the form of required testing, curriculum choices, or teacher oversight, and it seems that these controls are increasing. As the number of homeschoolers grows and more homeschoolers use the publicly funded programs, the more scrutiny our homeschool law is getting by various administrative powers, whether it is the local school districts or the Colorado Department of Education.
Keep your eye out for how the administrative power — or tyranny as Madison called it — is being manifest in your life. The first step to taking back our liberty, is acknowledging when it is being infringed.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
CHEC Director of Government Relations