Las Vegas Review-Journal | 01/19/1999
Clinton grabs for power through executive orders
By Phyllis Schlafly
Copley News Service
Faced with a
Republican Congress unwilling to grant him all the powers he
wants, Bill Clinton has unleashed a blizzard of executive
orders to grab new authority for the executive branch,
and make broad public policy changes and even restructure
our governmental system.
have a proper place in federal rule-making and in
implementing the routine business of the executive departments.
But Clinton has discovered that presidential executive
orders function in a "Never Never Land" of
almost unlimited power, and he is pressing the envelope to
move his agenda, both domestic and foreign.
three of his favorite goals when he issued executive order
(EO) 13107 on Dec. 10, 1998. He increased executive branch
authority, he moved America closer into the "web"
of treaties, which he promised in his address to the United
Nations on Sept. 22, 1997, and he rewarded the feminists who
are standing by him in his impeachment trial.
EO 13107, titled
"Implementation of Human Rights Treaties," sets up
an interagency working group, with representatives from
major federal departments, to implement our alleged
"obligations" under the many U.N. treaties on
human rights "to which the United States is now or may
become a party in the future."
in presuming to implement treaties that the Senate has
refused to ratify is becoming characteristic. Congress had
to pass legislation last year to forbid him from using funds
to implement the Global Warming Treaty, which the Senate
The first treaty
listed in EO 13107 is the International Covenanton Civil and
Political Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in
1966, signed by Jimmy Carter in 1977, and ratified by the
Senate during George Bush's administration in 1992.
Aggressive implementation of this treaty can open up a can
of worms in regard to our First Amendment rights, criminal
law and unique system of federalism.
repeated references to the elimination of sex discrimination
are just what the radical feminists want in order to
"implement" their exotic judicial interpretations
of sex. The treaty's Article 23 even binds governments
"to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of
spouses during marriage," one of the U.N.'s
"rights" to be monitored by Article 28's
"Human Rights Committee" on which the United
States may have only one out of 18 members.
unratified U.N. human rights treaties that could be
"implemented" under EO 13107 is the International
Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush
administrations rejected this treaty because it refuses to
recognize one of the most fundamental American economic
rights, the right to own property.
This U.N. treaty
would bind us "to take steps," including
"legislative measures," to the "maximum"
of our resources in order to achieve "full
realization" of "adequate food, clothing and
housing" of everyone in the world. It would bind us
"to ensure an equitable distribution of world food
supplies in relation to need."
The unratified U.N.
Convention on the Rights of the Child would bring about
massive U.N. interference in family life, education, day
care, health care and standard of living. Article 43 sets up
a committee of 10 U.N. "experts" to monitor the
raising of children and our "progress" in
complying with the treaty's "obligations."
The U.N. Convention
on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against
Women would require us to follow U.N./feminist dictates
about "customs and practices," "social and
cultural patterns of conduct of men and women,"
"family education," and even revision of
administration has already started implementing this
unratified treaty through the project launched after the
1995 U.N. Conference on Women called "Bring Beijing
The term " executive
order" does not appear in the Constitution, but the
president's authority derives from his Article II, Section 3
power to "take care that the laws be faithfully
executed." The validity of particular executive
orders has often been questioned, but neither Congress
nor the Supreme Court has defined the extent of their power,
and courts have rarely invalidated or even reviewed EOs.
D. Roosevelt proclaimed a national emergency and issued
wide-reaching executive orders , notably his 1933
bank holiday and prohibition on private possession of gold,
but those orders were subsequently ratified by
Congress. The notorious EO 9066, under which some
Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II, was
subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court under FDR's war
In 1952, the U.S.
Supreme Court struck down Harry Truman's EO 10340 to seize
the nation's steel mills. In 1996, the Court of Appeals for
the D.C. Circuit invalidated Clinton's EO 12954, which
attempted to prohibit federal agencies from doing business
with companies that had permanently replaced strikers.
Clinton attempts to
insulate his executive orders against judicial
review. He included a clause in EO 13107 declaring that it
"does not impose any justiciable obligations on the executive
It's time to stop
Clinton's unprecedented use of executive orders to
implement ratified and unratified treaties. Our freedom and
independence are at stake.
Phyllis Schlafly is
a lawyer and conservative political analyst.