Restrict Act – Expanding Bureaucratic Power: Restrict Act 2023 S. 686

Restrict Act – Expanding Bureaucratic Power: Restrict Act 2023 S. 686



By KrisAnne Hall, Constitutional Attorney


Under the previous “Chevron” judicial precedent Congress granted great power to executive agencies and their department heads.  Deferring to the judgment of unelected bureaucrats, Congress wrote law after law expanding executive agencies’ ability to weild unchecked power. This administrative state has wreaked immeasurable havoc on the liberties of everyday Americans.  Finally, through a series of Opinions, SCOTUS overturned the Chevron precedent and declared that federal agencies must be able to point to specific Congressional authorization for their actions. Courts should be “skeptical,” the decision said, of these agencies’ authority to set broad policy through novel statutory approaches.  SCOTUS moved the pendulum of power back in the direction of the proper Constitutional limits of separation of powers and delegation of powers.


In the alleged fight against the Chinese Communist Party, certain members of Congress through the Restrict Act, will reverse the SCOTUS corrections and push the pendulum back in the direction of arbitrary, unlimited, and unchecked bureaucratic authority.    Apparently certain members of Congress have become comfortable and accustomed to creating dangerous and unlimited power within these ungovernable executive department heads through “novel statutory approaches.”  By authorizing broad executive interpretation, Congress surrenders its own authority to bureaucrats and sidesteps accountability after unleashing these already lawless agencies.


We’ve watched in recent months numerous hearings featuring Congressional representatives attempting to reign in lawless agencies and their leaders. Now they want to empower another executive to wreak havoc across the landscape of American Liberty.  Talk about a disconnect! Why  in the fight against the “enemies” of America do the liberties of Americans always end up in the crosshairs?


The Restrict Act is an eggregious assault on American liberty. It adds unlimited and overbroad authority to the Secretary of Commerce. It secures no true check and balance. It sidesteps due process protections. It creates enormous loopholes which circumvent every constitutional limitation placed upon government. Here are just a few goodies in this new Patriot Act Lite:


  • Gives the government authority over all forms of communication domestic or abroad.
  • Grants powers to “enforce any mitigation measure to address any risk” to national security now and in any “potential future transaction.”
  • Allows the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Commerce the authority to universally designate new “Foreign Adversaries” without notifying congress.
  • “Foreign Individuals” can now also be US citizens that are deemed a national security threat.
  • Requires a joint resolution of Congress to overturn.
  • Once designated, the bill grants authority to enforce any action deemed necessary to mitigate the threat, with no due process and few limits on punishments.
  • Authorizes $1,000,000 fine, 20 years in prison and forfeiture of everything you own (no due process).
  • Grants unlimited hiring power to positions of enforcement, unlimited funds with little or no review.
  • Immunity from FOIA…(in other words: secret courts, secret searches, secret siezures, secret punishments).


The idea that the Restrict Act is somehow limited to “foreign” threats is just as laughable as when that assertion was made in 2012 when the “Indefinite Detention” provisions were added to the NDAA of 2012 and equally as unbelievable as the “sunset” provisions added to the 2001 Patriot Act that continues to deny the constitutional limits of government 20 years after its legislative sunset was scheduled to take place. It does absolutely NOTHING to affect the Chinese Communist Party but it certainly opens up a vast opportunity to tyrannizes Americans. And all it took was Tik Tok; that’s how easily some will move to shred the Constitution when the right boogey-man comes along.


If passed the Restrict Act will likely plague the Liberties of Americans for generations to come.  We must act now to prevent this violent attack on our Constitution.  Tell your representative to RESIST the Restrict Act.


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