Presidency Key TermsHow the president can circumvent Congress
Executive Orders an order or directive issued by the head of theexecutive branch at some level of government. U.S. Presidents have issued executive orderssince 1789, usually to help officers andagencies of the executive branch manage theoperations within the federal government itself. there is no constitutional provision or statutethat explicitly them, though there is a vaguegrant of "executive power" given in Article II,Section 1of the Constitution, and furthered bythe declaration "take Care that the Laws befaithfully executed" made in Article II, Section3,
Executive Orders Until the 1950s, there were no rulesor guidelines on how to use them The Supreme Court ruled inYoungstown Sheet & Tube Co. v.Sawyer (1952) that EO 10340 fromTruman placing all steel mills in thecountry under federal control wasinvalid because it attempted tomake law, rather than clarify or actto further a law put forth by theCongress or the Constitution. Presidents since this decision havegenerally been careful to cite whichspecific laws they are acting underwhen issuing new executive orders.
Executive Orders One extreme example of anexecutive order is EO9066, where F.D. Rooseveltdelegated military authority toremove any or all people(used to target specificallyJapanese Americans andGerman Americans) in amilitary zone. The authority delegated toGeneral John L. DeWittpaved the way for allJapanese-Americans on theWest Coast to be sent to
Signing Statements A signing statement is a written pronouncement issuedby the President of the United States upon the signingof a bill into law. There was controversy over the G.W. Bush’s use ofsigning statements, which critics charged was unusuallyextensive and modified the meaning of statutes. In July 2006, the American Bar Association stated thatthe use of signing statements to modify the meaning ofduly enacted laws serves to "undermine the rule of lawand our constitutional system of separation of powers". Not mentioned in the constitution that he can altermeaning of law. When a bill is presented to thePresident, the constitution provides 3 choices: donothing, sign the bill, or (if he disapproves of the bill)veto it in its entirety and return it to the House in which itoriginated, along with his written objections to it.
Signing Statements Until the 1980s, signing statements were generallytriumphal, rhetorical, or political proclamations and wentmostly unannounced. Until Reagan, only 75 statements hadbeen issued; Reagan and his successors George H. W. Bushand Bill Clinton produced 247 signing statements among thethree of them. By the end of 2004, George W. Bush hadissued 108 signing statements containing 505 constitutionalchallenges. As of January 30, 2008, he had signed 157signing statements challenging over 1,100 provisions offederal law. Some opponents have said that he in effect uses signingstatements as a line-item veto. The signing statement associated with the DetaineeTreatment Act of 2005, prohibiting cruel, inhuman anddegrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody attractedcontroversy:"The executive branch shall construe... the Act, relating todetainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutionalauthority of the President to supervise the unitary executivebranch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with theconstitutional limitations on the judicial power...."
Executive Agreements An agreement made between the executive branch ofthe U.S. government and a foreign government withoutratification by the Senate. Less formal than a treaty and is not subject to theconstitutional requirement for ratification by two-thirds ofthe U.S. Senate. The Constitution does not specifically give a presidentthe power to conclude executive agreements. However, he may be authorized to do so byCongress, or he may do so on the basis of the powergranted him to conduct foreign relations. Despite questions about the constitutionality ofexecutive agreements, in 1937 the Supreme Courtruled that they had the same force as treaties. Becauseexecutive agreements are made on the authority of theincumbent president, they do not necessarily bind hissuccessors.
Executive Agreements For example, after the outbreak of World War IIbut before American entry into the conflict,President Franklin D. Roosevelt negotiated anexecutive agreement that gave the UnitedKingdom 50 overage destroyers in exchange for99-year leases on certain British naval bases inthe Atlantic. The use of executive agreements increasedsignificantly after 1939. Prior to 1940 the U.S.Senate had ratified 800 treaties and presidentshad made 1,200 executive agreements; from1940 to 1989, during World War II and the ColdWar, presidents signed nearly 800 treaties butnegotiated more than 13,000 executiveagreements. Clinton authorised the Comprehensive Test Banagreement with other states in 1999, eventhough the treaty had failed to ratified in the