Debate over President Obama's Use of Executive Orders
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American presidents have been issuing executive orders since the founding of the country. Abraham Lincoln issued an order to prevent a constitutional crisis. And years later, President Harry Truman used executive orders to integrate the armed forces and seize control of the nation’s steel mills. President George W. Bush issued nearly 300 executive orders while in office. So far, President Barack Obama has issued 184 executive orders covering a range of issues including health care, gay rights and immigration. Supporters argue executive action is necessary in the face of a gridlocked Congress. But critics say issuing too many executive orders violates the separation of powers in the Constitution and creates an "imperial presidency." Diane and guests discuss the constitutionality of Obama’s executive orders and the political fallout from them.
professor, The George Washington University Law School
partner, Brand Law Group and distinguished fellow in law and government, Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law; former counsel to House of Representatives (1976-83)
president and CEO, The National Constitution Center; professor, George Washington University Law School; legal affairs editor, The New Republic; author of "The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America" and co-editor, "Constitution 3.0."
Washington bureau chief, USA Today.