Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for April 9, 2021

Pushing Back Against Federal and Presidential Overreach

In recent decades, I believe executive overreach and the abuse of presidential powers have threatened our country’s system of federalism and checks and balances. From where I stand, this is no more apparent than our current president’s use of executive orders. Since he first entered the White House in January, he has issued more than 35 executive orders. While some of his executive orders might seem harmless on the surface, others have had real world consequences. For example, in January, our president signed an executive order shutting down the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an $8 billion project that supported more than 13,000 American and Canadian jobs. With the stroke of his pen, he halted this infrastructure project in its tracks. If a president could unilaterally do this, without any oversight, what else could they do? Take away our right to keep and bear arms through the Second Amendment? Limit our ability to gather and worship our God? Even the mere thought of this is scary, but I intend to do everything I can to push back and stop these actions from making their way to Missouri.

In order to take a stand and push back against any type of federal or presidential overreach, I have sponsored Senate Bill 571. This legislation gives the General Assembly the authority to review any presidential or federal order, rule or legislative action in order to determine its constitutionality. If the Legislature finds such action to be unconstitutional, they can recommend the Missouri attorney general review the matter and take action. If the attorney general declines to move forward with the case, the legislation gives lawmakers the ability to pass a concurrent resolution declaring the matter unconstitutional and blocking its implementation in Missouri.

Our nation’s founders intended for our great country to be governed by a president, not ruled by a king. Through SB 571, I hope to ensure the residents of the Show-Me State are not subject to unconstitutional laws or orders that have the potential to take away the freedoms and liberties we hold dear — especially our Second Amendment rights. From where I stand, the people of Missouri should have the final say on the laws and rules that govern them, not those in Washington, D.C.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.