Some legal advocates have claimed some power grabs as unconstitutional; state and federal courts have been busy addressing the issue. Some reformers question the morality of most power grabs; they claim the denial of compromise inherent in the moves deny other stakeholders' voices.
Below are instances in nonprofit NGO websites of so-called "power grabs" that have happened in the last couple of years:
" House Committee Approves Controversial Data Retention Measure"
August 2, 2011
Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) was "not convinced [the bill] will contribute in any meaningful way to prosecuting child pornography." Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) stated that it is an "unprecedented power grab by the federal government - it goes way beyond fighting child pornography." Rep. Scott said that the data would be available for many other uses, including copyright prosecution and divorce cases, while Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) stated that retained data will be made available to law enforcement officers without a warrant or judicial oversight. Rep. Lofgren went so far as to propose an amendment to rename the bill the "Keep Every American's Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government Without a Warrant Act." The amendment failed.
"Statement - Mal Warwick"
April 20, 2006
I see developments during the present administration as largely an extension of disturbing trends that have been evident under both parties. One of those developments in particular is central to the increasing difficulties our nation and our society are experiencing both at home and abroad. I am referring to the relentless accumulation of power by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. In itself, the arrogation of warrantless surveillance powers by the National Security Agency is frightening. As an extension of the increasing power of the presidency, it is profoundly disturbing. I do not believe our democracy can survive if this latest power grab is left standing. What is left of American democracy if an agency of the United States Government, acting under the direction of the White House, can monitor our telephone and e-mail communications without notice, without prior clearance by the courts, and without any recourse in law?
"Obama Team on Right Track in Defending Health Care Reform, Policy Expert Writes"
American Constitution Society
January 9, 2012
Lazarus defends the administration’s case for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), saying before the current high court it looks best in the “Commerce-Clause format.” Lazarus concludes, in part, that a string of “eminent conservative appellate judges have blown off opponents’ demands to overturn this allegedly ‘unprecedented’ federal power-grab. On the contrary, Republican appointees have concluded that upholding the ACA mandate is compelled by the text of the Commerce Clause and Supreme Court precedent, that it is no more ‘coercive’ than other measures, such as dedicated taxes and tax write-offs undergirding major existing health-insurance laws, and even, that the ACA’s approach could be a valuable model for conservative designs to privatize other components of the social safety net.”
"Florida Bar Must Prevent Gov. Scott’s Judicial Power Grab"
Brennan Center for Justice
January 17, 2012
Last year the Florida legislature failed to pass a proposal to give the governor sole authority over naming the members of the state’s judicial nominating panel. Currently, the governor appoints five members of each judicial nominating commission on his own, and the other four are chosen based on recommendations by the Florida Bar. Now, a bill advancing in the Florida House seeks to revise the state’s judicial merit selection system, including by allowing the governor to replace some members of the nominating commissions. A Pensacola News Journal article highlights contrasting views on the proposal. According to the Journal, Democratic Representative Marty Kiar fears the change would get rid of the independence of the commissions. In contrast, the bill’s sponsor Matt Gaetz, believes it would permit the governor to hold panel members accountable.
"The GOP War on Regulations"
October 20, 2011
It’s hard to imagine a worse time for big business to conduct a full-blown attack on regulatory protections. The country continues to suffer from a deep recession caused in large part by financial deregulation and underenforcement of existing rules. A string of corporate disasters—the BP oil gusher, the Massey coal mine explosion, unintended acceleration in Toyota cars, leaded toys, killer cantaloupes—all tied directly to inadequate regulatory protections, are fresh in the public mind. For the US Chamber of Commerce, however, the facts shouldn’t get in the way of a stupendous power grab. The Chamber and its allies on Capitol Hill have launched an unprecedented antiregulation campaign, with the goal of blocking new safeguards against corporate wrongdoing and rolling back environmental, health, financial and other regulatory protections.
"U.S. Rep. Conyers Blasts Mich. Gov.’s Bill as ‘Opportunistic Power Grab’"
American Constitution Society
March 21, 2011
The measure touted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as a way to ensure local governments can effectively respond to dire financial situations is "an unconstitutional swipe at minority communities and hardworking public workers," writes U.S. Rep. John Conyers in an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press. Gov. Snyder (pictured) who is backing the bill, which would give him the power to dissolve local government entities and nullify collective bargaining rights or workers, has attracted increasing attention nationwide for his effort and sparked massive protests at the state capitol. Conyers said the bill is being pushed "under the guise of Michigan's temporary financial distress," and amounts to "an opportunistic power grab by Republican state legislators and now the governor."