Friday, February 15, 2013

What is an Executive Order?

No matter the president, we hear of them signing Executive Orders (EO). Do we really know what this is or what power it contains? Let's explore that a little. The meaning of the EO is to tell agencies how to process law. Sometimes when congress creates a new law, the text isn't always clear how that law is to be managed. The president can, and should as leader of the country, direct how that law is to be implemented. If congress disagrees with how the president is implementing the law they can amend that law to give proper definitions.

The president could simply order the secretary to send out a memo, but that carries less weight. The president will write and sign the EO, and that EO is then entered into the National Registry. Once that document is entered, and remains unchallenged for 90 days, it then becomes law. We have been told time and time again that an EO is not law, but that's not always fact.

We have agencies such as the EPA using the same process. The board will write a new regulation and enter that regulation into the National Registry. If that regulation remains unchallenged for 90 days, it becomes law. We have a congress that has spent two hundred years giving away its power. When we have a divided congress like today, if someone did challenge the EO or regulation, there wouldn't be enough agreement to vote that EO or regulation down. We should at least have congress form a committee to monitor the registry so that they are aware of new regulations/laws.

For decades we have lived under a soft tyranny. Because we have such a divided congress that cares only about re-election, we now may be living in a full fledged tyranny. Imagine this scenario: Obama signs an EO removing term limits for his office. Congress can't agree on a bill that nullifies that EO, that EO becomes law until, or if, the courts strike it down.

Imagine if both houses were controlled by democrats. Obama is a relatively popular president. It is within the realm of possibility that he could declare himself dictator. I fear that the the American people might be open to such a maneuver. If the democrats had known the American people were this gullible, they might have tried this maneuver when they had full control of Congress.

I suspect most people were like myself and wondered how federal agencies had the power to create what is essentially law. I know, now, it's not essentially law, but law in all definitions of the term. We have been told that through an EO, a president cannot create law. We know now this is not the truth.

To protect ourselves it might be a good idea to have a constitutional amendment that requires a time limit on all EO's and agency regulations. After a set time length the agency regulation must expire or be voted into law by congress. We must find a way to protect ourselves from agency and EO abuse. We have seen that the courts and congress can't be trusted. Judges are no longer guided by law, but by ideology. The same can be said for congress and the president.

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