Executive orders have been bothering me for quite awhile.
Sometime ago, when Bill Clinton issued executive order 13119 engaging American forces in the Kosovo conflict, I sent him a letter asking by what authority he had made his decision. He never answered me. Had he replied and not lied (as in ‘I never had sex with that woman’), he probably would have said: “The Constitution does not give me the power to declare war, but I do have executive orders, though there is no constitutional statute or provision that explicitly allows for executive orders either, guess I’ll just have to wing it, I’m the President, so sue me.”
Seventeen members of congress did just that, stating: “It is incumbent upon us to resort to the courts to force Mr. Clinton to follow his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States.” A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit. How does a judge not uphold the Constitution?
Clinton was just doing what presidents, including George Washington, have been doing for over 200 years. In 1793, Washington issued his “Neutrality Proclamation,” which declared that the United States would remain neutral in the conflict between France and England, and would bring sanctions against any American citizen who attempted to provide assistance to either party. In October of last year Barrack Obama issued an executive order that claims the power to freeze all bank accounts and stop any related financial transactions that a “sanctioned person” may own or try to perform with respect to Iran or Syria. Sound familiar? Other Obama executive orders are appointing nominees to government positions without senate approval, halting deportations of illegal immigrants who met certain requirements without congressional notification and changing welfare policy without submitting those changes to congress.Details