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A Runaway Executive Branch Threatens Our Free Society

Christiana Kiefer
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President Biden’s administration is rewriting laws passed by Congress to force a radical political agenda on American citizens.

Ed. Note: The following piece originally appeared at Townhall.

Can you imagine forcing a Catholic nurse to participate in an abortion procedure? Or telling a foster care and adoption agency it must violate core tenets of its faith or shut its doors? How about mandating a doctor perform an irreversible procedure on an adolescent that goes against her medical judgment and deeply held beliefs?

Well, unfortunately, we don’t have to use our imagination because all of this is actually happening, and much more, because the president of the United States has acted as if his job is to not just enforce the law—as defined by the Constitution—but to also write the law.

One of the biggest threats to liberty is a run-away executive branch that unleashes a flurry of federal rules, regulations, and actions that erode religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and marriage and family.

President Biden’s administration is rewriting laws passed by Congress to force a radical political agenda on American citizens—in many cases, making the laws almost unrecognizable from their original intent.

Take, for example, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the landmark civil rights law that gave women equal opportunity in education and athletics. President Biden and his education secretary have now proposed regulations that dismantle Title IX, threatening the entire category of women’s sports by allowing men to compete, and dominate, on their teams.

In addition to denying women a fair and level playing field in sports, the administration’s new Title IX rule could impose widespread harms in a host of other areas, including depriving students and professors of free speech on campus, requiring doctors to perform medical procedures that violate their conscience and professional ethics, usurping parental rights to make education and health care decisions for their kids, and allowing men to share women’s showers and dorm rooms.

To be fair, recent U.S. presidents have all struggled to stay in their lane, but in the year and a half since he’s held office, President Biden has signed 92 executive orders, outpacing any other president in executive overreach since the late ‘70s.

Most egregiously, though, through his reinterpretation of federal law and unlawful enforcement of regulations, President Biden is targeting people of faith. His administration is systematically stripping away religious exemptions that people of faith have long enjoyed as a way to honor their religious beliefs and still be able to participate as valuable members of society and earn a living. The results have been devastating for small business owners trying to make a living, nonprofit organizations seeking to do the most good in their communities, and individual students, professors, doctors, pastors, and other everyday citizens seeking to live and work in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs.

For example, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule is forcing a Tennessee Christian children’s home to make an untenable choice between violating its religious beliefs or losing critical funding needed to sustain its operation. Up until recently, faith-based charities like Holston United Methodist Home for Children had received a religious exemption to be able to place thousands of children in forever homes, but the Biden administration has rescinded all those religious exemptions.

Or take another HHS rule that forces doctors to perform controversial procedures on adolescents seeking to alter their biological sex in violation of their medical judgment and deeply held beliefs. Or the directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that is forcing a Christian college in Missouri to violate its beliefs by opening its dorms, showers, and other shared spaces to members of the opposite sex.

The list goes on and on… decisions made by huge, powerful federal agencies led by unelected, unaccountable, political bureaucrats foisted upon us. Americans who cherish our constitutional order and the individual liberty it was created to protect can feel intimidated and powerless against such a machine, but the good news is that we have another, equally powerful, branch in our republic. And it is exactly for moments like these when the judicial branch goes to work.

The federal government must be challenged, reigned in, and controlled by duly elected officials and by courts of law. If politicians and bureaucrats are allowed to brazenly ignore the constitutional limits on their power whenever they please, we no longer live in a free society.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom exists. We’re defending the Christian college in Missouri, the children’s home in Tennessee, the doctors, the professors, the students, the female athletes, the small business owners. The highly skilled litigators on ADF’s regulatory team are holding government accountable and challenging this administration in court when they step out of bounds. We’re giving power back to the people to defend themselves against their own government.

Christiana Holcomb
Christiana Kiefer
Senior Counsel
Christiana (Holcomb) Kiefer serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives.