Executive Fiat? President Biden’s record pace of executive orders
Bottom Line: Four years ago you’d have been hard pressed to go a day without hearing about President Trump’s executive orders and the efforts to attempt to undo what was often portrayed as unprecedented executive authority. As always there are two sides to stories and one side to facts. The fact of the matter is that President Trump didn’t even sign as many in his first weeks as President Obama did and no President in American history, not even George Washington himself, has attempted more unilateral activity than President Biden.
Through January, President Biden signed 24 executive orders and had taken over 40 total executive actions. How does that compare to his processors? President Obama signed nine executive orders during his first January in office while President Trump signed just seven. Consider that President Clinton only signed one during his entire first year in office! Here’s another dose of perspective...
President Biden signed greater than three times as many executive orders in January than President Trump did when he entered the office. He’s already had one of his orders halted as being unconstitutional. That was the one ordering an immediate release of illegal immigrants which were slated to be deported. On Monday he signed another executive order and yesterday he signed three. Simply put, we’ve never had a more aggressive president attempting to exact political outcomes unilaterally from the executive branch. Now, based upon your political opinion, you might be in favor of sweeping executive actions. What isn’t open to opinion, is what we’re witnessing. The most pervasive use of executive authority to attempt to exact outcomes in American history.
Already many of us had concerns regarding the lack of checks in balances with Democrats in complete control of the federal government. In the earliest days of the Biden administration, Congress isn’t even a consideration. President Trump might have referred to Joe Biden as sleepy Joe during the campaign, however he’s proved to be the most active we’ve seen to date and it’s not even close. The question is whether we’re headed towards a true constitutional crisis with the Biden administration in which he bypasses Congress and the rule of law to exact outcomes. The issue, with such a proliferation of EO’s is that they’re in force until and unless there’s a legal challenge with a court that halts an order. With the pace of orders, it’s near impossible for even the most liberty minded organizations to keep pace, let alone to file timely challenges where they may be needed. For all of the bluster of the threat of use of executive authority under President Trump, it’s clear the real test to our system of government and the limitations of the executive branch of government is happening right now.
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