03 November 2011

On The Road Again...Executive Order
(hold the onions)
Hope you all have your beverages of choice at-hand today, and have gone to the bathroom before we leave, because we're back in the car, and rolling along that highway to Dystopia, making a little side-trip to a hamlet know as THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.
Now, being president can be VERY hard work...just ask our current leader, the "One".
I mean between shooting hoops, playing golf, and jet-setting around the globe, apologizing for our country, he's got to do some really IMPORTANT things...like SIGN STUFF.
Most of the time, this "stuff" is the legislation that comes from that OTHER branch of government (the legislative branch), and as chief EXECUTIVE, his job is to either sign things into law, or veto it...mostly.
But, there is this ONE little "ace-in-the-hole" the President has as his disposal, called the executive order.
In our Constitution, Article I, Section 1 states:
"All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
Sounds simple enough, right?
Not so fast, kids...there's more.
The "official" explanation of the EXECUTIVE ORDER is as follows:
(( An executive order in the United States is an order issued by the President, the head of the executive branch of the federal government. In other countries, similar edicts may be known as decrees, or orders in council.
Executive orders may also be issued at the state level by a state's governor or at the local level by the city's mayor. U.S. Presidents have issued executive orders since 1789, usually to help officers and agencies of the Executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself.
Executive orders have the full force of law, since issuances are typically made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress, some of which specifically delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation), or are believed to take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution.
However, these perceived justifications cited by Presidents when authoring Executive Orders have come under criticism for exceeding Executive authority; at various times throughout U.S. history, challenges to the legal validity or justification for an order have resulted in legal proceedings.
Now, back in 1789, the anti-federalists argued that there was no Bill of Rights to protect the people. They also said that a centralized government would become too powerful, usurping the rights granted to individual states (as was framed in the Constitution).
When the Constitution was being written, it was being done "behind closed doors", which was a direct contradiction to the mandate of the Congress, which was to amend the original Articles of Confederation (the governing power in America since the Revolution).
It was John Adams that argued (and quite well) that a GOOD government should consist of THREE balancing powers.
(legislative, executive, and judicial)
It was Adams' contention that the only effective way to secure the rights of the people and promote their welfare was to establish an opposition of interests between the members of two distinct bodies (legislative and executive) in the exercise of the powers of government, and balanced by those of a third (judicial). Again, seemed simple enough, right?
On 8 July, 1789, Adams proposed the Bill of Rights to Congress. James Madison was initially opposed to this, but after having spoken at length with Jefferson, he was convinced of the necessity of such Constitutional amendments. As Madison stated:
"That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution."
Seems like he's on to something here.
The executive order is curious in that it doesn't seem to be found directly WITHIN the framework of the Constitution, nor does it allude to it.
Although there is no Constitutional provision or statute that explicitly permits executive orders, there is a vague grant of "executive power" given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and furthered by the declaration "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 4.
At the minimum, most Executive Orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President's sworn duties, the intent being to help direct officers of the US Executive carry out their delegated duties as well as the normal operations of the Federal Government - the consequence of failing to comply possibly being the removal from office.
This is not to be confused with a:
--Presidential Proclamation
--Presidential Determination
--Presidential Memorandum
Those are a whole other bunch of animals. (that too often get loose)
The Executive Order governs everything from the Flag Code of the United States to the ability to single-handedly declare Martial Law. Presidents have used the Executive Order in times of emergencies to override the Constitution of the United States and the Congress.
** Jackson used the "EO" to remove the law-abiding Cherokee from THEIR OWN ANCESTRAL LANDS. (the Trail of Tears)
** Lincoln used such orders to suspend fundamental rights during the Civil War. He shut down anti-war publications and jailed political prisoners.
He suspended the right to trial and the right to be confronted by one's accusers (habeas corpus).
Lincoln said this was done to PRESERVE THE UNION (which it did)...and after his death, Constitutional law was restored.
** Woodrow Wilson used EO during WW1 to arm U.S. vessels sailing through enemy waters (before we joined the war)
EO 1860 - fixing the interest rate of currency
EO 1997 - Amending the civil service rules providing the appointment of aliens when no citizens are available
EO 2039 - Admitting foreign ships into the U.S. registry
** FDR has a ton of them...here's a sampling:
EO 6102 - Forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates
EO 6166 - Reorganization of executive agencies generally
EO 6511 - Powers of the National Labor Board increased
EO 6917 - Creating a corporate body known as Federal Prison Industries, Inc.
EO 7732 - Federal Housing Projects
EO 8248 - Establishing divisions of the executive office of the President and defining their function & duties
EO 9182 - Office of War Information
EO 9300 - Subversive activities by federal employees
EO 9340 - Seizure of coal mines
EO 9412 - Seizure of the railroads
EO 9508 - Seizure of Montgomery Ward properties

And then, there's a few that are really interesting or "odd"...
EO 9577A
- Authorizing the "Petroleum Administrator" to take possession of and operate the plants in Port Arthur TX
EO 9631 - Termination of the Office of Censorship
EO 9808 - Establishing the President's Committee on Civil Rights
EO 10450
- Security requirements for government employment
EO 10501 - Safeguarding official information in the interests of the defense of the U.S.
EO 10914
- Expanded program of food distribution to needy families (his first order)
EO 11063 - Equal opportunity in housing
EO 11490 - Assigning emergency preparedness functions to federal departments & agencies
EO 11798
- Regulation of exports
EO 11808 - President's economic policy board
EO 11836 - National cargo security program
EO 11855 - Membership of the energy resources council
EO 11973
- President's council on mental health
EO 11987 - exotic organisms
EO 12044 - Improvement of federal regulations
EO 12049 - Defense economic adjustment programs
EO 12072 - Federal space management
EO 12089 - National productivity council
EO 12116 - Issuance of food stamps by the USPS
EO 12146 - Management of federal legal resources
EO 12153 - Decontrol of heavy oil
EO 12170 - Blocking of Iranian government property
EO 12201 - credit control
EO 12241 - National contingency plan
EO 12287
- Decontrol of crude and refined petroleum products
EO 12324 - Interdiction of illegal aliens
EO 12360 - President's task force on victims of crime
EO 12457 - President's Commission on industrial competitiveness
EO 12523 - National WH conference on small business
EO 12555 - Protection of cultural property
EO 12564 - Drug-free federal workplace
EO 12576 - Victims of terrorism compensation
--Bush (1):
EO 12695
- Delegation of debt-relief authority
EO 12735 - Chemical & biological weapons proliferation
EO 12755 - Administration of export controls
EO 12778 - Civil justice reform
EO 12807 - Interdiction of illegal aliens
EO 12835
- Establishment of the National Economic Council
EO 12844 - Federal use of alternative energy vehicles
EO 12857 - Budget control
EO 12858 - Deficit reduction fund
EO 12878 - Bipartisan commission on entitlement reform
EO 12931 - Federal procurement reform
EO 13010 - Critical infrastructure protection
EO 13089 - Coral reef protection
EO 13112 - Invasive species
EO 13151 - Global disaster information network
--Bush (2):
EO 13212
- Actions to expedite energy-related projects
EO 13271 - Establishment of the corporate fraud task force
* * * * *
And that's a SMALL part of ALL of them...(whew)
They're still working on ALL the one's JOHNSON put out there.
Thanks to: http://www.conservativeusa.org/eo/default.htm
Obama (to date) has signed NINETY-SEVEN executive orders, so he's right up there with the BIG GUNS when it comes to signing stuff.
(move over FDR)
A few of these include:
EO 13583 - Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce
EO 13579 - Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies
EO 13578 - Coordinating Policies on Automotive Communities and Workers
EO 13571 - Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service
EO 13563 - Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
EO 13561 - Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay
EO 13560 - White House Council for Community Solutions
EO 13557 - Controlled Unclassified Information
EO 13546 - Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States
EO 13544 - Establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council
EO 13538 - Establishing the President's Management Advisory Board
Here's a link to a blog that chronicles them all (so far):
And it's pretty intense.
But you HAVE to remember that the EXECUTIVE ORDER is a method to BYPASS the legislative part of our government (Congress).
*** One might say that the executive order (as utilized TODAY) is ABUSED, and on a rather regular basis...
And there's a crapload more of these I didn't even list...with mostly ONE thing in mind...CONTROL to some degree.
Remember, we can't decide FOR OURSELVES, and that's why we need a HUGE government with eyes and ears everywhere, so we can be taken care of...(like a doting parent to a child)
The EXECUTIVE ORDER has become more the norm, rather than something to be used ONLY in time on national emergency or war...
It might behoove the leaders of this nation to remember that.
They might want to recall the story about the boy who "cried wolf"?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

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