Executive Orders

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The U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, states: “The executive Power shall be vested in the President of the United States of America.” Even though the Constitution makes no mention of executive orders, the President’s power to issue executive orders has grown since the days of the Framers. To illustrate, Theodore Roosevelt issued 1,081 executive orders, five times more than any other president before him; but he was overshadowed by Woodrow Wilson (1,808 executive orders) and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who issued an unprecedented 3,522 executive orders (The American Presidency Project, 2014). Actually, there has been a significant drop in the number of executive orders issued by contemporary presidents (Ronald Reagan, 381; George H. W. Bush, 166; Bill Clinton, 364; George W. Bush, 291; and Barack Obama, 168 (through early 2014).

Post your explanation of whether presidential power has increased or declined based on the considerable reduction in the number of executive orders issued by contemporary presidents. Explain why or why not. Support your perspective with evidence from the Readings or other scholarly sources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Readings

Readings

  • Shafritz, J. M., Lane, K. S., & Borick, C. P. (Eds.). (2005). Classics of public policy. New York, NY: Pearson Education.
    • Chapter 7, “Policy Implementation by the Executive”
      • Presidential Power: The Power to Persuade (1959) (pp. 230–233)
      • The Two Presidencies (1966) (pp. 234–247)
  • Deering, C. J., & Maltzman, F. (1999). The politics of executive orders: Legislative constraints on presidential power. Political Research Quarterly, 52(4), 767–783. doi: 10.1177/106591299905200405.
  • Howell, W. G. (2011). Presidential power in war. Annual Review of Political Science, 14 (1), 89–105. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-040609-155927
  • Jost, K. (2006, February 24). Presidential power: Is Bush overstepping his executive authority? CQ Researcher, 16(8), 169–192.
  • Silverstein, G. (2009). The law: Bush, Cheney, and the separation of powers: A lasting legal legacy? Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39(4), 878–895. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03712.x
  • The Avalon Project. (2008). War powers resolution: Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the President. Retrieved from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/warpower.asp
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