If Judges Can Block Executive Orders, What's the Point?


Another federal judge blocks an executive order from President Donald Trump, begging the question what good are the orders in the first place?

George Washington issued just eight executive orders over two terms, compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt's 3,700 in 12 years.  President Trump already has signed 28 executive orders.

“He has initiated more than any other president going back quite a ways, in the first 100 days of his administration, partly because he's having so much trouble legislating with his Republican majorities in Congress,” says Cal Jillson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

But as Jillson points out, there's been growing animosity toward executive orders, from both sides of the aisle, since Jimmy Carter issued 320 in just four years.  “In President Trump's instance, the courts have joined in a rejection in at least a few of them.”

Both of which so far involve the issue of immigration.  However, Jillson says a majority of executive orders are simple declarations, only recently have they been used to direct policy.

“Executive orders used to be used a lot more than they are more recently, and they are now more contested than they used to be in the days of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson,” says Jillson.


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