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.

The federal government maintains that the authorization to issue executive orders comes from Article II of the Constitution which states: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States,” “the President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States” and “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Where does it say the president has power to create laws? What was the intent of the founding fathers in Article II? Simply put; executive orders were meant to be orders of the kind that help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage operations within the federal government itself. Also, powers delegated by congress to the president to use at his discretion in pursuance of a congressional act. Article I, Section I of the Constitution states: “All legislative powers herein shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” It doesn’t say most, or many, it says ALL. The Constitution does not give the president power to create his own laws, period.

The Tenth Amendment states the Constitution’s principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people. States and their residents have the right and duty to nullify unconstitutional mandates of the federal government. Executive orders that go beyond the intent of the founding fathers and the Constitution should be dealt with appropriately. This government is supposed to be by me and for me, and it isn’t. So, as one of the Peeps referred to in The Tenth Amendment, I reserve the powers not granted to the federal government and issue this executive order:

By the authority vested in me as a Peep, I hereby order as follows: “Since the Constitution presupposes that it cannot be violated, I cannot impose a penalty on this president or any past presidents for violating the Constitution, and therefore must nullify any and all past, present and future unconstitutional mandates issued by the federal government.”  Hey, it’s no less valid than many of Obama’s 139 executive orders.

Ray Chuffo
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