Lawmaking by executive order: an analysis of a movement tending to destroy American constitutional government and to set up an executive autocracy

Executive Order

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            Executive Order is a lawfully mandatory order given by the acting President since he is the head of the Executive Branch ordering (FAA) Federal Administrative Agencies. An Executive Order is generally applied to control officials and federal agencies in their implementation of congressionally recognized policies or laws. However, in many occurrences they have been applied to direct agencies in ways opposing to congressional intent but not all executive orders are formed equal. Some of executive orders may deal with defense or security issues while others may be normally symbolic or ceremonial. Congressional approval is not a must requirement in order to for an Executive order to be effected because it have the alike legal burden as laws approved by Congress. Examples of executive orders include proclamations, national security directives and presidential decision directives.

            Executive orders have been applied by every main executive since the reign of George Washington in 1789. Every president starting with George Washington have delivered orders which can be referred as executive orders although they did not formally indicated by name. Most of these orders were not published and were only comprehended and discussed by the agencies which were concerned. George Washington’s first executive order stated that “United

            States was going to remain neutral in the war between Great Britain and France. In the early era of 1900s, Department in the State started numbering those orders and the numbering system we apply today when considering a specific order was not prepared until far ahead.

            Those orders were retroactively numbered starting from year 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln issued the “emancipation proclamation” by executive order and by now there are more than thirteen thousands orders which have been numbered. However, there are still some orders which have not been listed because of bad record keeping but that is not a problem today since all upcoming executive orders are accessed easily. Since the decision of Supreme Court in 1952, every president has also made sure to mention which precise laws they are performing under whenever they are delivering the executive order. Numerous significant policy modifications have happened through Executive orders although the President cannot use apply executive orders to create laws, the orders can still have a very extensive consequence.

            For example President Truman delivered an executive order to incorporate the armed forces, while President Eisenhower delivered an executive order to incorporate all public schools. Another executive order #9066 was given out by President Roosevelt to affirm definite areas zones for military, but soon it was applied for the transfer of Japanese-Americans to captivity camps in the course of World War II and claimed it that he had power under his military authority. President Kennedy and President Johnson applied them to promote racial segregation in federal contracting, appointment and housing. President Bill Clinton overturned the executive order which has been issued by President Reagan about promoting use of federal funds to support abortion. However, conflict aroused during the reign of President Clinton because in his more than 300 executive orders he was not consulting the Republican Congress.

            Recently, President Barrack Obama have received a lot of criticism from Republicans due to signing numerous executive orders to postpone certain there has been criticism from Republicans as President Obama has signed numerous executive orders to postponement certain sections of the “(ACA) Affordable Care Act”, although the law have not specified the authority of the president to do that. The claim of Republican is that the president is “selecting” which sections of the law to obey and which one to disobey. In all terms considered executive orders cannot interject the laws approved by Congress or the duties deputized to the Executive Branch. However, executive orders tracks against the common section of the Constitution that states “No one should have power to act disjointedly”. In contrast, Congress often provides the President substantial freedom in administering and implementing federal law. Sometimes, the Congress cannot approve precisely how to implement a law therefore this abandons the conclusion to all federal agencies concerned and the President in the power.

            When congress flops to comprehend out deeply on how an act is to be implemented, the President can provide those parts in detail but in the custom of Executive Orders. The main purpose of executive orders was to strengthen the right or duty of a President to produce an order, verdict, or declaration to convey out a precise power that actually committed to his preference by the Constitution or by congress approval of a lawful statute. The President is supposed to take care that the laws be loyally executed because Executive Orders were never planned to offer a President the power to go from one place to another in Congress to enact legislation. For example if the police are aiming suspects in a certain area where gang hitting is dominant, the President can order them to go after those gang wrecks by an Executive Order because he is the chief law enforcement officer but has to adhere to the written law.

            The white house and the Presidency has evolved over time, and is not the same as it was years ago. Since George Washington took over office, many presidents have taken office, with the most recent being the historic Barrack Obama who has made over nine hundred executive orders so far. It is important to put time into consideration as we seek to compare the many presidents the United States of America has had as we examine their executive orders made. In this paper, I am seeking to examine the executive office especially on presidents who faced very starkly times at the white house. Among rhetoric and administrative powers, the president possesses legislative powers which are exhibited by making of executive orders as it has been the case with many presidents.

            Initially, the white house lacked guidelines to follow when setting these executive orders, until in 1952 when president Truman decided to make an executive order no. 10340 that was rendered null and invalid because it was making a law without congress, instead of extending it as should have been the case. After the ruling, previous presidents have been citing existing laws when making these orders to avoid unconstitutionality of any of these orders. This paper examines some of those orders issued, with most of them having been made during the tenure of President Roosevelt. The largest amounts of executive orders were issued between Truman’s era and Roosevelt’s era. The most executive orders have been issued during the reigns of the presidents that have been known and termed as strong. These have come under tenures when America was at war like in Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. Mostly, presidents have issued them in times when they need to act in ways not allowed for by the constitution. There have been more conservative presidents like Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Hebert Hoover who had the belief that they were strictly limited by the constitution.

            Currently, President Barrack Obama has made executive orders that have seen even congress men rally behind to impeach him as well as filing lawsuits. Last year (2013), the president passed twenty-three executive orders as part of his war against guns, and recently, in a public address he issued an executive order that saw the increment in salaries for some workers under the federal government. Currently, an executive order is seeking to fight for a debate in the enactment of a new immigration law. The current president has threatened to use these orders to pass key policies if congress fails to act imminently.

            According to Clancy (1996), several implications for the adoption of presidential orders have been evident, with Obama ensuring that immigrants are getting proper treatment even when deportation has been necessitated. President Bill Clinton ensured the conservation of some American rivers which were taken as American Heritage. ‘Obamacare’ has seen the current president pass over nine hundred executive orders, which he has said are all in ensuring better lives for the American people and improving life standards for American families. This has been evident especially with the pay increments for example of these initiatives to boost the lives of Americans. Gun policies have also been enacted through his executive orders, giving a sense of security back to notorious streets that have seen an increase in the number of gun owners: most of which are illegal.


American Liberty League (ALL). 1935. Lawmaking by executive order: an analysis of a movement tending to destroy American constitutional government and to set up an executive autocracy. Washington, D.C.: American Liberty League.

Clancy, T. (1996). Executive orders. New York, N.Y: Berkley Books.

Great Britain. 2008. Draft Legislative Reform (Health and Safety Executive) Order 2008: report, together with formal minutes and written evidence. London: TSO.

McNamara, Carol, and Melanie M. Marlowe. 2012. The Obama presidency in the constitutional order: a first look. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.

Smith, V. Kerry. 1984. Environmental policy under Reagan’s executive order: the role of benefit-cost analysis. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

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