This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Jen Loving 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Learning Objective: Understand the role of checks and balances amongst the three branches of government and the citizenry.

    1. Checks & Balances

    2. Congressional Checks on Administrative Power

    3. Executive Checks on Administrative Power

    4. Checks on Administrative Power

    Answer the question:

      Are Executive Orders an abuse of Administrative powers? Why or why not?

    Natalie Parker

    I found this question to be one of the most difficult for me to express an opinion on, because I really knew very little about executive orders before doing research for this.

    I still have a few remaining questions that I hope to do some additional research into. First, I wonder how a president decides whether to pursue an executive order, rather than other options like a proclamation or administrative order (this article from the American Bar Association was helpful). Do they wait until they have attempted to get legislation through Congress and it has failed before attempting an Executive Order? Or do they take more immediate action because the item is timely and needs immediate action. In reviewing a list of past Executive Orders, many of them do seem largely administrative and some even mundane, but I can see that the system could be abused. For example, if the representatives of the people have spoken and denied legislation on a topic, I don鈥檛 necessarily believe that a President should pursue it.

    An article from the National Constitution Center really lays out how circuitous Executive Orders are. It says, 鈥渨hile an executive order can have the same effect as a federal law under certain circumstances, Congress can pass a new law to override an executive order, subject to a presidential veto.鈥 So an Executive Order is essentially an unbalanced action, which while not always abuse of power, does not seem to align with our intended system of checks and balances.


    Viviana Gonz谩lez

    Definitely seems to be a matter of perspective. If the policies pushed through Executive Orders are favorable to your interests, they will seem fair and viceversa. I don’t think they are an abuse of Administrative powers because they fill in gaps when the legislature has remained silent; they are often necessary. However, my greatest concern with Executive Orders is that by their very nature they can be implemented and undone in a relatively short period of time thereby creating uncertainty and fostering confusion.


    Michael Wile

    Executive orders an not necessarily an abuse of administrative powers but too many of them in a short time can be an abuse of power. If we look at the last few presidents.

    42 Bill Clinton. over 8 years
    43 George W. Bush over 8 years
    44 Barack Obama over 8 years
    45 Donald Trump. over 2 years

    This shows that president Trump has been issuing far more executive orders than his predecessors.


    Aidan Elliott

    I agree that determining whether an executive order is an abuse of administrative power will align with your personal interests. I also agree that it seems that executive orders have increased over the past few administrations which means the executive is exercising more and more power relative to the powers of the other branches but it seems that due to the fact that executive orders can be overridden by the court or by congress, that they aren’t exactly an unchecked power, although they may divert extra time and energy into trying to undo them.


    Steve Spears

    In general, I don’t believe that Executive orders are an abuse of power. They can be a useful tool to drive action from government agencies, while still being subject to checks and balances from the other branches.


    Krista Davidson

    I don’t think that Executive Orders are an abuse of power and can be necessary. I also think that a President, no one in particular, can get carried away with issuing them. From a citation in a definition of Executive Orders on Wikipedia, “Executive orders are subject to judicial review, and may be overturned if the orders lack support by statute or the Constitution.” So the system of checks and balances goes on and on. Natalie, you used a good word earlier-circuitous.


    Ken Martin

    Well, are they an abuse of power or CAN they be an abuse of power?

    FDR, while trying to bring the country out of the Great Depression and then through a World War, enacted lots of Executive Orders meanwhile stacking the Supreme Court with appointees who would decide the constitutionality of those orders. Sounds familiar… except for the Great Depression and World War part. I digress.

    Executive orders are part of the system and are intended to provide for the betterment of the nation as a whole.

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by  Ken Martin.

    Jen Loving

    I would like to think that Executive Orders are not an abuse of power but Michael’s statistics on the past Presidents and how many EO they have is interesting. I believe that Checks & Balances are in play, therefore, keeping the EO’s in check and not abused.

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