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Separation of Powers - Executive Orders

                        
     It may seem strange to begin by stressing the ways in which the 
     Constitution limits governmental power, but we must keep in mind
     the dilemma the framers faced.  They wanted a more effective
    
national government, yet at the same time they were keenly aware 
     that the people would not accept too much central control. 
     Efficiency and order were important concerns, but they were not as
     important as liberty.  The framers wanted to ensure domestic 
     tranquility and prevent future rebellions, but they also wanted to
     forestall the emergence of a home-grown George III.  Accordingly,
     they allotted certain powers to the national government and
     reserved the rest for the states, thus establishing a system of
     federalism....  Even this was not enough.  They believed they
     needed additional means to limit the national government.

     The first step was the separation of powers, that is, allocating 
     constitutional authority to each of the three branches of the national
     government.  In The Federalist, No. 47, James Madison wrote, "No
     political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped
     with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than
     that...the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and
     judiciary, in  the same hands...may justly be pronounced the very
    definition of tyranny."

                    Separation of powers:  Constitutional division of 
                    power among legislative, executive, and judicial
                    branches.  The legislative branch is assigned the
                    power to make laws; the executive is charged 
                    with the power to apply the laws: and the judiciary
                    receives the power to interpret laws.

                                                           
Government by the People, 14th edition,
                                                            Burns, Peltason, Cronin, Prentice Hall
 
       
American presidents of both political parties; Congress regardless of its majority party; and the courts have failed to honor the American constitutional requirement of the separation of powers – the separation of powers our country’s founders knew to be necessary in order for them and for us to live in liberty.

During the remaining few months of his term in office, how many and what kind of executive orders will President Clinton issue?  

"The fact that the amendment did not survive conference
was disappointing, and led the administration to issue
essentially the same policy in executive-order form."
U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2000 

 

"We've switched the rules of the game.  We're not 
trying to do anything legislatively."
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, The Washington Times, June 14, 1999

 

"...he [Clinton] has also pursued an 'executive order strategy'
that goes way beyond trying to guide federal agencies
in how to implement laws."
The Wall Street Journal (editorial) August 6, 1998

 

"Stroke of the pen.  Law of the Land.  Kinda cool."
Paul Begala, former Clinton advisor, The New York Times, July 5, 1998

 

"Clinton is pushing the envelope.  He's consistently trying to take
more power than Congress gives him."
David Schoenbrod, New York Law School professor, Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1998

 
 

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