“Simple 5-Minute Trick to Understanding Executive Orders!”
by T. Matthew Phillips, Attorney-at-Law
ENDING the WAR on ENERGY
On April 10, 2019, The Donald signed two “executive orders” intended to quicken the approval process for construction permits to build oil and gas pipelines. The Donald told a crowd of Houston oilmen that he had “ended the war on energy.”
Notably, these two executive orders changed the laws governing the permit process for constructing oil and gas pipelines. Previously, the Secretary of State was in charge of issuing permits. But no longer. Basically, The Donald told the Secretary of State: “You’re fired!”
So, why did The Donald change the laws for pipeline permits? Why?–because he was sick ‘n tired of what he called “radical activists” delaying construction of oil and gas pipelines — particularly, the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL — which met with heavy resistance from Indians, tree-huggers, and professional agitators from around the world.
THE DONALD PUTS-OUT
“We approved the Keystone XL Pipeline in one day,” said The Donald to his Texas oil buddies. “We got the Dakota Access Pipeline out of trouble. They didn’t have a permit, but I gave it to them!”
TRUMP the LAWGIVER
Long story short, The Donald gave the middle-finger salute to pipeline opponents — and then he eff’d-over our Native American brothers and sisters! With a stroke of his pen, The Donald single-handedly changed the laws regarding how the feds issue pipeline construction permits. But was this legal?
The Donald’s executive orders are illegal because he is “passing laws” — which is supposed to be Congress’ job! When Trump signed the executive orders for DAPL and Keystone XL, he re-wrote the laws regarding “who” shall issue pipeline permits. However, by wrongfully assuming the role of “lawmaker” — Trump usurped Congressional authority to make laws — and this is unconstitutional.
THREE BRANCHES of GOV’T
We are a nation of laws. The Constitution, at Article 1, says Congress shall “make” laws. Article 2 says the President shall “enforce” laws. And, Article 3 says the Courts shall “interpret” laws. Hence, the infamous three branches of government: (1) Legislative, (Congress), (2) Executive, (the President), and (3) Judicial, (the Courts).
The FOUNDING FARMERS
Two hundred and forty some-odd years ago, just like today, the Founding Farmers had the same collusive, two-party system. They contemplated that some federal officials — loyal to the “other party” — may become lazy about enforcing federal laws. And so, they rigged the Constitution in such a way that, if federal officials ever abandon their duty to enforce the law, the President can simply issue executive orders requiring those officials to do their jobs — by enforcing the law.
FAITHFULLY EXECUTE the LAW
This right to issue executive orders is found in the Constitution at Article 2, Sec. 3, which requires Presidents to ensure that federal officials actually enforce our laws. Article 2, Sec. 3 requires that Presidents “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
ENFORCING EXISTING LAWS
The Constitution says that Presidents may use executive orders for only one purpose — to enforce existing laws, which means that executive orders may not be used to create new laws. Yeah, it’s that simple!
ABUSE of POWER
With his two pipeline executive orders, The Donald exceeded the scope of his legal authority. Instead of using his executive powers to enforce existing laws, The Donald created new laws — and this is plainly unconstitutional.
SUPPURATION of POWERS
James Madison understood the importance of separating governmental powers. In The Federalist Papers, Madison famously wrote: “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, there can be no liberty.”
The YOUNGSTOWN CASE
The most important Supreme Court case involving executive orders came in 1952, in the Youngstown case. During the Korean War, the United Steelworkers Union went on strike — and this threatened the supply of steel needed to produce military hardware necessary to kill commies.
In response to the steelworkers strike, President Truman declared a state of emergency. Truman signed an executive order seizing control of the nation’s steel mills — to keep them operating — to keep the war effort on track. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Truman’s executive order was unconstitutional.
“The president’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker,” wrote Justice Hugo Black, who thought it a bad idea to authorize governmental seizure of private property to settle labor disputes. (Ironically, this is the same Justice Black who, in 1944, eff’d-over our Japanese-American brothers and sisters with his controversial opinion in the Korematsu case — in which the Supreme Court validated an executive order that herded Japanese-Americans into concentration camps during WWII.)
On January 25, 2017, The Donald signed the Border Order — an executive order to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Okay, is it constitutional? Well, it depends on whether the President is enforcing existing laws or writing new ones.
ANOTHER BRICK in the WALL
The Border Order directs gov’t officials to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, to halt illegal immigration and deport non-citizens. Specifically, this executive order authorizes officials to “secure the southern border through the immediate construction of a physical wall.” So, is it constitutional? No!–because the Border Order does not enforce existing laws; rather, it creates new ones! Therefore, it’s unconstitutional.
When all’s said, the executive order to build Trump’s Wall is unconstitutional. If Trump’s Wall is to be built, then let Congress authorize it — not the President.
RUN for the BORDER!
Okay, what do Trump’s Wall and the Berlin Wall both have in common? Neither are intended to keep folks “out,” but rather, to keep folks “in.” LoL! (Fact checker: most of the border-crossing traffic is actually headed south!)
Okay, now that you know everything about executive orders — it’s time for a Pop Quiz! Can you identify any federal official who now neglects his or her duty to enforce existing law? Yessiree, mon cheri — The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services! Here’s a federal official who stubbornly refuses to enforce existing law found at the 1986 Vaccine Act!
The 1986 VACCINE ACT
It’s no secret that, in over thirty (30) years, no HHS Secretary has ever discharged the duty to enforce a certain provision of the 1986 Vaccine Act titled: “Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines.” Sadly, like his predecessors, the current HHS Secretary neglects his duty to faithfully execute the law; therefore, a presidential executive order would be ideally suited to remedy the problem! (You know where this is going, right?)
“Ta-da!” Just in time to celebrate the Juneteenth festivities, we proudly present the following executive order — and we even forged The Donald’s signature to lend clarity to our vision! C’mon, let’s git-r-done! 🙂
P R O P O S E D E X E C U T I V E O R D E R !
– T H E E N D –
Produced and Directed by TMP’s Midnight Minions
in association with Chapter Eleven Productions,
Fly-By-Night Management Services, and
Neurotica Entertainment Group
“If fools did not go to market,
cracked pots and false wares would not be sold!”
– Clifford Irving –