Executive Order

Executive Order

U.S. Presidents have issued executive orders since 1789, usually to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. Executive orders have the full force of law, since issuances are typically made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress, some of which specifically delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation), or are believed to take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution. However, these perceived justifications cited by Presidents when authoring Executive Orders have come under criticism for exceeding Executive authority; at various times throughout U.S. history, challenges to the legal validity or justification for an order have resulted in legal proceedings.

In other countries, similar edicts may be known as decrees, or orders in council.

Read more about Executive Order:  Basis in U.S. Constitution, History and Use, Criticisms, State Governors' Executive Orders, Presidential Proclamation

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