Executive orders are instructions from the President of the United States to federal agencies that often have the same authority as the law. Administrative ordinances have been a means for presidents and government officials to elevate their power to sometimes controversial levels over the years. In most cases, questions about the enforcement of regulations and declarations are limited to one topic. However, it is useful to understand the underlying process of enforcement rules and declarations. Otherwise, readers may find that presidential instruments have no strict and swift rules. Administrative ordinances and proclamations include many different aspects of government and society that each must be approached individually.
Patterns Throughout the History
The main similarity pattern that is seen today is that the Presidents often only issued enforcement rules and proclamations under the Second Article of the Constitution (U.S. Constitution Article II). If one was to look at the history of executive orders, from 1861 to 1944, the Presidents issued 569 non-ritual and noteworthy declarations, accounting for 14% of all declarations issued during that period (Williams, 2020). At the same time, the Presidents issued 252 solemn proclamations (Williams, 2020). Non-ritual proclamations accounted for 69% of notable declarations during that period, and ceremonial declarations accounted for 31% (Williams, 2020). Another pattern is that some executive orders were revoked by the legislature or the judiciary, but that was less common (Cockerham & Crew, 2017). However, they are only temporary in the sense that the directives passed by the executive branch are easily revoked by the next governor.
Past President and Executive Order
An executive order is a written instruction from the President to act on the wishes of the President through the government. The past President’s ability to issue such orders must derive from the constitutional or federal law of our government system. In other words, the Executive Order can be used to exercise the powers that the Commander-in-Chief already possesses. The President has extensive federal law enforcement authority and has a major constitutional obligation to ensure that the law is properly enforced. Once he is retired, the enforcement regulations may be revoked, amended, or subject to exceptions by the President at any time, regardless of whether they were issued by the current President or his predecessor. A past President’s ability to set an executive order is valid until his authority is abolished, abolished, declared illegal, or expired in accordance with its terms. It means that until that moment, the past President has a chance to set a precedent for current presidents’ use of executive order. This is the case because the creator of the Constitution left a question of the administrative authority for interpretation.
An executive order is a legal statement addressed to government officials and administrative units that do not require legal regulation to be effective. In fact, administrative ordinances and proclamations cover so many areas of government and society that each must be judged on its own merit. Since the Constitution does not include enforcement ordinances or proclamations, there are no specific provisions in the Constitution that allow the President to issue them. Meanwhile, the Presidents have issued them since the founding of the republic.
Cockerham, A. G., & Crew Jr, R. E. (2017). Factors affecting governors’ decisions to issue executive orders. State and Local Government Review, 49(1), 6-14.
U.S. Constitution. Article II.
Williams, R. T. (2020). The Historical Presidency Unilateral Politics in the Traditional Era: Significant Executive Orders and Proclamations, 1861–1944. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 50(1), 146-162.