Presidents have issued executive orders for a long time. That our current President has just issued a controversial one is not surprising. Lots of Executive Orders have been controversial. Perhaps the most controversial thing about executive orders is that Presidents take to them when Congress doesn’t do its job, for few Presidents will issue executive orders after Congress has passed legislation against the very thing the President hopes to achieve through an Executive Order. While such legislation may not be law, yet, since it must have the President’s signature, clear direction from Congress is hardly ever ignored.
Congress, however, has mostly abdicated its responsibility by hiding behind executive issued regulations. Congress has a penchant for passing legislation empowering executive agencies to develop and promulgate regulations that have all the force of law. It is easier to do this than to pass the legislation directly, since Senators and Congressmen would rather not deal with difficult issues that may make it more likely they will lose their personal governmental franchise. The most likely thing served by our congressional representatives is their own re-election. My! How cynical of me!
Many are applauding the executive order just issued by the President. But the President took his sweet time to issue it, thinking of the political ramifications, himself, making it obvious that politics was a factor in the he delayed the orders until after the election. Not only is this obvious to the observer, it was explained to us. If this issue was urgent, why wait until the elections? Perhaps the issue was urgent, but not more urgent than the elections, which did not go to suit the President’s party, and likely would have gone worse has executive action on immigration proceeded prior. The people have not spoken on this, and I think that the issue will hurt Democrats more than help.
If one thinks that Progressive Presidents have a moral mandate to issue executive orders because the ends justify the means, one might do well to consider the dangers of this, for dangers are plentiful when the process is violated.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was, hardly arguable, one of our most progressive Presidents. It was the urgency of the WWII years that gave the progressive President all the mandate he needed for the protection of the country to issue Executive Orders 9066 and 9095, forcing Japanese-American citizens into internment camps and authorizing the sequestration of assets. Those forced into the camps were not all Japanese-American emigres in the process of being naturalized…60+ percent were US citizens. At least, FDR thought this serious enough that he didn’t wait until after the elections, but then again, there was not enough political clout in the Japanese-American community at the time to have a voice.
The very nature of a Republic is majority rule with minority rights. This is a superior form of government since the absolute rule of the majority can be extremely oppressive. Majorities can become passionate and turn into mobs. If one thinks majority rule without restrictions is a good thing, one may choose to look at the Salem Witch Trials, or perhaps the Jim Crow laws that existed here in the South, then consider their position again, more carefully. Majority does not make for right. That is why our nation is based on the rule of law, however twisted congressional lawyers may have manipulated the process; but that is a separate issue.
The WIKIPEDIA article is excellent. It is linked HERE!
What seems right at the time may not be right. There is lots of room for human error here.
I do know this…and history is on my side: Every amnesty related bill, order, or proclamation dealing with our friends South of the border has been touted as a “final solution.” Amnesty simply begets more amnesty. While other words will be chosen than amnesty, and use of that word will be debunked, it still looks remarkably like an amnesty.
“Olly Olly Ox in Free,” said the President to those lined up at the border like the Sooners lined up for land grants in Oklahoma. Some of them just couldn’t wait for the gun. Those who played by the rules very likely got left empty handed.
There is no lasting immigration solution without a secure border.
Oddly, states are not required to honor executive orders. They are only applicable within the framework and scope of Federal government authority, which is a considerably large framework with unlimited resources, which illustrates the dangers of executive orders.
Eventually, through the courts, or succeeding administrations, or congresses, things work out. But, those poorly served in the meantime may have more problems than they can wish away.
Remarkably, the actual text of last Thursday’s controversial executive order is not easily found on line, else I would publish it here. I am an experienced GOOGLER, but 30 minutes of every angle of searching failed to yield the actual text. It yielded thousands of pages of commentary, but not he actual text. Even the page whitehouse.gov does not have it, having only executive orders through mid-October.
©2014 Mississippi Chris Sharp