As I’m sure you may have heard….Obama issued 23 Executive Orders on Wednesday. As is typical with anything related to politics and the snakes that practice it, some of it is fluff, some of them are proposals, and some of them are now LAW. But let’s take a quick step back and see what an Executive Order actually is.
It seems that the President was given limited power called Delegated Legislation which was originally intended by the Constitution to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. And, as a result, Executive Orders carry the full force of law. It seems to be mired in a bit of controversy because legal minds have argued over the source of Executive Orders, but they are believed to take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution. But it turns out that this justification has come under criticism as well as direct court battles. I found that this appeared to be mostly due to the fact that most Executive Orders have been abusive in their overstepping of bounds and the freedom with which Presidents have used them to circumvent Congress and the Constitution. The founding faithers had it right, it seems. No one man should ever be given this kind of authority.
The controversy lies in that there is no specific “Executive Order” authority given in the constitution or in the various thesis, manifestos, and political treatises that pre-date the constitution. Only vague references. It is derived from Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 which speaks of a vague grant of “executive power”. It is further supported by the declaration “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5. Most executive orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President’s sworn duties,the intent being to help direct officers of the U.S. Executive carry out their delegated duties as well as the normal operations of the federal government.
So, in the list of 23 EO’s signed into law Wednesday, it sounds like the ones directing the government agency BATFE (aka ATF) will be law immediately. The rest….not sure. There are already calls by law makers on the right to nullify these EO’s. The main problem with EO’s is that they are used to completely bypass Congress and end up moving existing laws away from their original mandates.
So what would a corrupt president do if he couldn’t get Congressional approval? Simply sign an Executive Order. As if the 37,000+ gun laws currently in existence around the US weren’t enough….now we got 23 more! Way to go Obama….
23 Executive Orders as provided by the White House:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
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