Sunday, February 14, 2010

On the Nature of Executive Powers.

I apologise in advance for the boredom that this will cause.

Anyway, I wandered across this article from the NY Times Online:

Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power

And of course, I had to go read up.

My first instinct was to say they're executive orders not executive powers, but actually the orders are part of the executive powers. And while there may not be anything specifically stated about them in the Constitution, people have pointed to Art. II Sections 1 and 3 for authorization to issue them.

But that's really beside the point. Executive orders have been issued since practically the founding of our government to help officers and agencies manage the operations within the federal government.

Also Executive Orders do have the full force of a law, but that's only because they're issued in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress.

Did you get that. Congress passes a law and the President can issue orders to help facilitate enforcing that law. This limit was put to the test when then President Truman tried to nationalize the US Steel Industry via executive order. Read Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer if you want the details. That's very important. The President's use of executive orders is limited to the laws passed by congress. He can't just willy nilly whip out the old pen and make onsies mandatory bed time attire. No matter how much he likes them or how convinced he is that they are so so sososo soooooo gonna be good for the American Peons Serfs People.

What the great anointed one wants and is planning to do is use the power of the executive order to enact laws. Because he's not happy that his agenda hasn't been whole heartedly embraced by those of us who didn't drink the koolaid (Chris Matthews, sorry couldn't resist that. It sent a thrill up my leg.) He wants to try an end run around our system of government and try the autocratic system for a bit.

Just to try it on and see how it looks. Honest Injum. I'll put it all back where I found it. Pinky swears.

And he's not going to let a little thing like legal precedence against this sort of thing stop him.

I can see several things possibly happening here.
  1. The adminstration realizes that they're overstepping their authority and refrain from trying this.
  2. They announce it and the outcry from the hill and their own handlers shouts them down.
  3. They go ahead and it spends years in the courts before being struck down.
Option 1? HA, yeah right.
Option 2? Well, it's more likely than Option 1 anyway.
My money is on option 3, but by that time the damage will already have been done.


Crucis said...

You can thank Teddy Roosevelt for the proliferation of Executive Orders and Executive usurpation of powers.

Up until Roosevelt's presidency, Presidents rarely used an Executive Order. And, when they did, they followed up with Congressional Approval in the form of legislation. I believe one earlier president did not receive congressional approval and was forced to rescind the executive order.

Riding on his fame from the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt issued over 1000 executive orders, such as the one for the creation of several national parks. Roosevelt did get congressional approval for the parks and to get funding for them, but ignored congress on all the rest.

From that point on, the Imperial Presidency grew.

Jay G said...

It's Bush's fault!

Old NFO said...

Dammit Jay, quit stealing my lines... :-)

Newbius said...

Option 4: About 3 million citizens show up in DC, armed and angry, and forcibly remove the bastards from office and send them home crying.

I'm just saying...