Executive Order

July 17, 2000

Every president has used executive orders in his term of office, but this president will no doubt set a record for the number of executive orders issued. And the reason is not due to a national emergency. His record will be set because the president is bent on drafting and implementing legislation from the Oval Office.

Presidents have sometimes had to provide directives to the executive branch, but have always stopped short of issuing too many in deference to the balance of powers delineated in the U.S. Constitution. President Clinton has had no such reservation

According to one count, President Clinton has averaged one executive order or unilateral policy step with each week of his presidency. And there is lots of evidence to suggest that the president isn't finished yet. I expect him to issue a flurry of executive orders between November and January if George W. Bush is elected president.

And this raises an even more important question. What will George Bush do if elected? Will he allow these executive orders to stand? Or will he ignore them in an effort to avoid controversy in his first year in office?

Anyone who has watched the Clinton presidency has to admit that he has been using novel devices to enact policies he could never pass through Congress. Will the next president and the Supreme Court allow this to go unchecked? Unfortunately, there is some evidence that will be the case. The Supreme Court has rarely challenged the president, and the next president may not want to take on the fight.

I hope someone is willing to fight. The Constitution stipulates that the legislative branch makes the laws and the executive branch executes them. The separation of powers and the balance of powers is threatened by President Clinton's executive orders.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.