Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Executive decisions

The news is making me think too much right now . . .

I didn't know much about presidential executive orders until a few days ago.

Recently they have taken a few headlines and caused my to do a little research.

I found this listing of all the executive orders that President George Bush signed into effect so far during his terms. Not extremely interesting reading, but amazing to see all the president has the power to do without congress.

According to Wikipedia's entry on the topic, these orders came from the reference to a president's "executive power" in the constitution. They don't generally change a law, usually just clarify it. (More on executive orders here, and here). They have, on occasion, been overturned by the courts. It would require a supermajority vote in congress to overturn it. I couldn't find specifics on this number, but it has happened in recent years.

In March, 2007, the House overturned an order to let presidents keep their paper private indefinitely by a 333-93 vote. The vote must be greater than the 2/3 required to overturn a veto.

Anyway, what does all that have to do with us now? Well, as presidents step into office they often look to these presidential executive orders to fulfill campaign promises and to distance themselves from the outgoing leader. They want to define their time in the white house, and use these orders to do so at times. Of course, they are a quick fix to problems they see needing change as well.

This article shows what orders President-elect Barack Obama and his team are looking closely at counter-acting. Stem cells and foreign abortion funding are high on the list according to this secular media source. Which, to me, are one in the same issue.

More than ever, we must speak out for life, for those that cannot speak for themselves.

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