Federal Government Reform

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
As to executive orders, they can only be used as instructions to the subordinate departments of the executive branch as to how the law (including constitutional powers of the executive) should be executed. The president cannot use them to make his own law out of nowhere. We do not, IMO, need a constitutional amendment for this purpose; it is already part of the system. Rather, it would be appropriate for EOs that operate outside that context to be judicially challenged, so that the courts can decide whether any given EO is based on enforcement of existing law or not.
Likes: Tennyson
Sep 2014
I was referring to the President's constitutional duty to enforce laws. Yes, he has powers granted that are not directly related to the legislature (e.g., to appoint judges), but for the most part his job is to execute the law. Apart from his separate constitutional powers, though, he has no authority but what Congress gives him (assuming that grant of power is constitutional to begin with).

(And, of course, the part of #3 that makes no sense is where it says "[t]he powers of the President within the cabinet," since the cabinet is made up of officers appointed by the President anyway (with the Senate's consent) and they are subordinate to him.)
I agree. There are more plenary powers than that. There are broad plenary powers in the war powered regarding the president's determination of an attack on the country and the border. When then Philadelphia Convention debated the four clauses of eliminating the King's prerogative regarding war or insurrection, it was split down the middle. It is a legal slippery slope when Congress attempts to breach the separation of doctrine; Congress' granting the president legislative powers is not supported by the Constitution.