Response to Kenneth Mayer's: With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power

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Kenneth Mayer took an upright approach investigating the president’s executive power they used to issue amounts of executive order. He calls it “presidential edicts” which are official orders that the presidents create to assist executive branch in managing operations within the federal government. Mayer believes that this use of executive order; creating laws and procedures, is turned into an arbitrary order. This legislative act of making laws is stated in the constitution, given to congress; and with “the stroke of a pen” the “Laws of the Land” were made with no regard or interaction with the legislative. And as we learn in “With the Stroke of a Pen”, executive order can be criticized with substantial argument and can have “great impact”. Mayer put together charts of 1,028 presidential orders into categories, between March 1936 and December 1999, constructing two tables. Mayer leaned to the more necessary side of executive power, realizing the “formal and informal” restraints put on the president within the “separated system” and the use of checks and balances that protects, and also the vast difference in ones party in the congress can take the executive powers implied in the 2nd Article of the constitution away (not literally speaking). Mayer explained an issue dealing with Democratic issue with Eisenhower’s apathetic look on discrimination in housing and federal employment; with Kennedy’s promise to the people and equality of opportunity (constitutional) with the stroke of a pen came the fair housing order. As so with Clinton’s scare of impeachment, his idea of executive orders and unilateral decisions (such as, prohibiting the use of genetic information if hiring) showed the capability of a president. These presidential legislations therefore make general policy and link to public law.

The argument many make about the executive order is that it’s a way for the president to avoid public opinion and constitutional limits. Though it’s said that this is an...
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