The Power of The Pen: Executive Order Without Representation?

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by Spencer Brown

Representation of the the needs of the people. It’s part of what makes our form of government so great, and also what makes it so gritty. Our nation was setup with a division of powers and a bicameral legislature, to allow the will of the people to be on the same level or possibly higher than the executive and judicial branches. With a House of Representatives serving two-year terms and elected from small districts determined by population, the frequently changing political landscape is reflected well. And the Senate which serves six-year terms also represents We the People, but at a larger level, with two senators from every state. With that quick history/civics lesson out of the way, it’s on to a bigger problem with our government today. The executive branch is supposed to serve in a two-fold capacity: the President is the head of state for diplomatic affairs, and is also in charge of enforcing and executing the laws passed by congress. But recently, President Obama proclaimed in his 2014 State of the Union address that he would be doing Congress’ job and using his pen to issue executive orders to accomplish his agenda. This is clearly a massive executive overreach that throws the delicate balance of powers into a tailspin.

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