In today’s post I’m going to discuss executive orders and the ramifications of heightened executive power. If you want to see a list of the executive orders, you can look here on the Federal Registrar as I will not be stepping through each order and much as discussing them collectively.
What Are Executive Orders?
I’ve already written an article explaining executive orders, but here’s a little reminder.
Executive orders are orders that the Chief Executive gives to his executive agencies. He has control over how his agencies work and implement law. He cannot dictate what free private citizens choose to do. This is why Biden is limited to a mask mandate for federal employees rather than all American citizens. If he does try to dictate what free private citizens choose to do, especially when unwarranted by law, he has veered into the zone of unilateral dictatorial power.
There is nothing specific in the Constitution about executive orders so it’s certainly a grey area and should be severely limited. It should be limited to how the president handles his cabinet and the movements of his executive agencies.
So, Biden has issued around forty executive orders, proclamations, and directives in the past week and a half. This has caused some consternation in conservative ranks who tend to shrink from unilateral executive power (although not always).
Biden’s forty plus executive orders in his first week in office has made history since most presidents don’t issue that much in their first year, or their entire term (s) for that matter. For comparison, Trump issued 55 executive orders in his first year in office.
Take a look here if you want a comprehensive list of the number of executive orders given by each president during their tenure in office.
If you notice, the number of orders issued by each president slowly increases from between 1-10 to hundreds if not a thousand per president. This is indicative of the steady increase in executive power over the centuries. Much of this change in executive power is largely due to a change in American’s perception of executive power. Americans now expect the president to do what the legislature and the judiciary are supposed to do, in combination with the power that an executive and King have.
So, Biden’s forty plus executive orders really aren’t that abnormal when compared to what Americans expect. Americans expect him to “fix” everything. To “fix” the pandemic, to “fix” racism, to “fix” immigration, to “fix” the economy, to “fix” the partisanship of the era, and to “fix” the government as a whole.
If we really think about what we’re asking, we’re asking for a King.
And friends, don’t sit back and laugh at democrats who are expecting all of this from Biden when many Republicans expected the same thing from Trump.
None of these expectations are part of the executive’s job and never should be. He’s not a King.
Should I repeat? He’s NOT a King.
You can read through this comprehensive list of the executive orders Biden has issued if you’d like. My goal in this post isn’t to go through each one–since I already wrote a post detailing twenty-two of Biden’s recent actions–as much as simply acknowledge the fact that he is issuing many executive orders and his executive power is likely to only grow from here.
Most of his executive orders deal with immigration, COVID regulations, funding, international relations and the like. Most of them do fall within the generally accepted practice of executive orders. In other words, most of them are directed at federal agencies, not at American citizens at large. Now, whether these federal agencies or the laws they are tasked with implementing are Constitutional is a another issue entirely. At this point, Biden has not issued any orders like the following: directing American citizens to all wear masks, or to all stop using certain racist lingo, or to close all their private business and the like. But the orders he has issued will dramatically change the way our county operates and do have far reaching consequences.
In short, Biden’s forty plus executive orders are the result of the Kinglike power Americans have bestowed upon presidents. Every president molds and utilizes that power differently. Some use it more forcefully, further expanding it, while others use it more tactfully and carefully. Biden, by issuing so many executive orders in his first few days, is showing us that he is willing to push the limits of executive power as far as he can, as quickly as he can. Such power is only to grow from here.
I’m curious to see what’s going to happen in his first 90 days in office if his first 7 were this robust.
Either way, I’m thankful, that, at least right now, I can still wake up free, go to work free, write these posts freely and live freely. I cherish such a reality more and more with every passing day.
The Constitution is still doing its job.
The Liberty Belle