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Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:03 PM

Can't the President override Congress?

I googled this and came to this distinguished website:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/executive_power

Under the part that reads, "THE PRESIDENT" and followed by bulleted items is this (4th bullet down):

can issue executive orders, which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress.

Am I misunderstanding this or can he go over their nasty little heads??

21 replies, 8533 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can't the President override Congress? (Original post)
ailsagirl Jun 2012 OP
SGMRTDARMY Jun 2012 #1
TheWraith Jun 2012 #18
SGMRTDARMY Jun 2012 #19
HopeHoops Jun 2012 #2
Spider Jerusalem Jun 2012 #3
Freddie Stubbs Jun 2012 #4
unblock Jun 2012 #5
BlueDemKev Jun 2012 #6
BlueCaliDem Jun 2012 #7
Nye Bevan Jun 2012 #10
BlueCaliDem Jun 2012 #13
MineralMan Jun 2012 #16
BlueCaliDem Jun 2012 #21
B2G Jun 2012 #17
BlueCaliDem Jun 2012 #20
treestar Jun 2012 #8
GeorgeGist Jun 2012 #9
Nye Bevan Jun 2012 #11
SaB2012 Jun 2012 #12
ailsagirl Jun 2012 #14
lunatica Jun 2012 #15

Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:08 PM

1. He can

 

but that would start a shit storm.

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Response to SGMRTDARMY (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 04:57 PM

18. No, he cannot. Executive Orders do NOT override Congress, ever.

And while Congress can't technically override an EO, they can effectively kill them by denying funding, which was the case with Obama's EO to close Guantanamo Bay.

Executive orders also cannot establish laws by fiat. They're administrative decisions which typically do not reach beyond the US government in effect. Case in point, one of the most famous is Executive Order 8802, which Roosevelt enacted to prohibit racial discrimination in employment--however, its reach only extended to the national defense industry, which was under government authority at the time.

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Response to TheWraith (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 09:15 PM

19. I seemed to have spoke out of turn

 

I looked it up and you are 100% correct.
Thanks for the history lesson.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:09 PM

2. There are exceptions. He can't allocate funds for example - that's the job of Congress.

 

The shrub seriously abused executive orders as a means of getting around Congress. It's a matter of integrity and you know the GOP would jump all over Obama if he did anything close to what the shrub did, forgetting the crimes of the latter.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:11 PM

3. Can? Yes, in theory. In practice? No.

Executive orders have to be issued within the framework of existing laws; the President can't usurp the legislative power by making new laws by order and shouldn't be able to anyway; separation and balance of powers and all, and that sort of dictatorial rule-by-fiat is something one may support when it's done for ends one approves of, but soon enough it won't be.

the Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) that Executive Order 10340 from President Harry S. Truman placing all steel mills in the country under federal control was invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order#History_and_use

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:12 PM

4. Sometimes

He can't issue an EO that contradicts a federal law.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:17 PM

5. executive orders are merely instructions to the rest of the executive branch of the goverment.

they do not in any way "override" either congress or the supreme court.

and they must abide by existing laws and the constitution. in theory, anyway. i don't know if any executive order has actually successfully challenged.

for the most part, executive orders are fulfilling particulars of laws, or directing specific executive branch resources to implement various aspects of laws.



the president cannot, for example, override congress and "pass" his own budget. he can, however, direct particular departments to spend their annual allotment by june so he can ask congress for more, or he can direct them not to spend it all so that they have funds leftover for the next year. he could also direct federal law enforcement not to enforce certain laws he didn't think was worth the allocation of resources, but he could NOT direct them to enforce a law that congress hadn't passed.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:20 PM

6. Under rare circumstances...

...and I'm not certain it's a good practice to start. Because if Obama does it, the next Republican president will CERTAINLY do it also, and we'd have no right to complain.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:46 PM

7. He can, though, declare Martial Law

thanks to the shrub re-authorizing Martial Law on May 9, 2007. At this point, as I see billionaires taking over our country and turning it into a fascist government of, by, for Corporations, I'm beginning to get really radical and wish President Obama would do it.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 03:26 PM

10. So you wish that Obama would declare martial law.

Say he does. So now there are soldiers all over our cities. What next?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 04:33 PM

13. Get his agenda through. Suspend Congress and SCOTUS. Push through the American Jobs Bill.

Get teachers, police officers, firefighters back to work. Free up funds for infrastructure repair and renovations. Remove the three words, "65 and over" from the Medicare bill and get single payer health care through for all. Arrest Wall Street banksters and put them in jail and bring the money back to the people (over $16 trillion of it). There is SO much good he can do what he's now being blocked to do by Corporate America's lackeys on both sides of the aisle.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know it's a fantasy, but so is the chance a Democratic President would ever declare Martial Law. They have to be a Republican for that, and they nearly did under Duhbya.

But the mere mention of declaring Martial Law will scare the crap out of Congress and things will finally start moving. Ask Rep. Brad Sherman (D) {video:} when Paulson threatened the president would declare martial law if they didn't pass TARP. The result? $800 billion in bank bailouts sailed through Congress without a hitch.

If it can be done to ensure CEO bonuses on the backs of working Americans, it should be no different to ensure the American people get something positive out of this Congress - I mean, if this government is still of, by, and for the People.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 04:48 PM

16. A fantasy, indeed.

A really scary fantasy, at that. That's a precedent I don't want to see. The result would be impeachment and conviction in the Senate. Guaranteed.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 10:02 PM

21. Well, better than living under Corporate Dictatorship a.k.a. fascism, because that's where we are

today. They control everything, even our voting machines.

But let's keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result. It's the smarter thing to do.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 04:51 PM

17. What you just described is a dictatorship

No thanks.

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Response to B2G (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 10:00 PM

20. Wake up already. We're already under a dictatorship. CORPORATE dictatorship.

But I guess that's okay with you.

Corporations own and tally our votes. They put the people in Congress who will do their bidding. They got trillions in backdoor and in-your-face bail outs. They have told the GOP and TeaBaggers in Congress to put a firm brake on economic growth, and now we're at the mercy of whatever crap is blowing our way from Europe. I hope you've seen Ezra Klein on Rachel's show tonight. We are in for a very rough ride, and because of corporate media and corporate billions, the American people will reward the Republicans and the rightwing corporate machines will ensure the Democratic Party is punished for the Republican do-nothing.

But I guess that's okay with you.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:51 PM

8. No. I'm saying we can compare the two incidents.

An Executive Order cannot go beyond how a law is going to be enforced. An already existing law.

Regulations don't need Congress either, but they cannot go beyond the law they are designed to enforce.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 02:56 PM

9. Lincoln is revered for doing so.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 03:27 PM

11. Like a pre-Magna Carta King of England?

I hope not.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 03:35 PM

12. Scroll down that page

 

It explains exec. orders a little more:

Executive Orders

In times of emergency, the president can override congress and issue executive orders with almost limitless power. Abraham Lincoln used an executive order in order to fight the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson issued one in order to arm the United States just before it entered World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt approved Japanese internment camps during World War II with an executive order. Many other executive orders are on file and could be enacted at any time.


I think the key portion there is: "In times of emergency."

Wikipedia is also helpful in clarifying what can and cannot be done with exec. orders:

Until the 1950s, there were no rules or guidelines outlining what the president could or could not do through an executive order. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 US 579 (1952) that Executive Order 10340 from President Harry S. Truman placing all steel mills in the country under federal control was invalid because it attempted to make law, rather than clarify or act to further a law put forth by the Congress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision have generally been careful to cite which specific laws they are acting under when issuing new executive orders.

Wars have been fought upon executive order, including the 1999 Kosovo War during Bill Clinton's second term in office. However, all such wars have had authorizing resolutions from Congress. The extent to which the president may exercise military power independently of Congress and the scope of the War Powers Resolution remain unresolved constitutional issues, although all presidents since its passage have complied with the terms of the Resolution while maintaining that they are not constitutionally required to do so.

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Response to ailsagirl (Original post)


Response to ailsagirl (Original post)

Mon Jun 11, 2012, 04:45 PM

15. Executive orders can be repealed by the next President

Which is why Obama doesn't want to use that power. What good does it do to sign an executive order that would be repealed as soon as the opposition took office.

Imagine him signing an executive order that gays could be legally married and then have the next President come along and rescind those marriages. It's an odd example, but one I think people can relate to and understand.

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