• Moderators, please send me a PM if you are unable to access mod permissions. Thanks, Habsy.

With executive orders, Trump embraces time-honored power move


Idi Admin
With executive orders, Trump embraces time-honored power move

President Donald Trump is giving the country a crash course in the use of executive orders. He's signed them so frequently, and with such flourish, and on such a wide array of issues, that it can seem as if he's found some new method to exert power.

But that's not so.

Executive orders are as old as the republic itself. They don't show up in the Constitution, but their unilateral use has been upheld by the Supreme Court. And there aren't many ways to try to stop a president from enforcing one.

"The fact is that each administration, beginning at least with Clinton and really since Roosevelt, has opened with a flurry of executive orders by presidents wanting to make their mark to show they're accomplishing something fast, which is very difficult to do through Congress," said Stephen Griffin, who teaches constitutional law at Tulane University Law School.

The most common way to challenge an order is argue a violation of people's rights. Trump is facing legal challenges over his order imposing temporary restrictions on those entering the U.S. from seven Muslim majority countries, and curtailing funding for "sanctuary cities."

Trump's orders have targeted a range of issues, from immigration to economics to health care to oil production. But in terms of volume, his executive orders aren't all that extraordinary. And he's signing them at a pace that isn't much different from that of President Barack Obama, who was also accused by critics of overstepping his authority.

Executive orders are one of three types of executive actions, the other two
being memos and proclamations. Trump has signed 22 executive actions
but only eight executive orders. Phil McCausland

The most famous executive orders include Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Franklin D. Roosevelt's creation of Japanese internment camps, Harry Truman's desegregation of the armed forces and Dwight Eisenhower's use of the Arkansas National Guard to enforce integration of Little Rock schools.

Roosevelt holds the record for executive orders, with 3,728 over a period that covered the Great Depression and World War II, according to the National Constitution Center. By comparison, Obama issued 277, George W. Bush issued 291 and Bill Clinton issued 364.


Canadiens & 'News & Views' Moderator
Staff member
Truman is an outlier back when he took over but if they mean in 1945, then the US was at war so that is understandable.

The latter two Presidents seem to be acting like Paul von Hindenburg and ruling by executive decree.


Active member
Obama's high number had more to do with the fact the republicant controller the senat and the chamber so that was about the only way he could actually get things done. Trump doesn't have that excuse.


Wrong Thinker Extraordinaire
Obama's high numbers were from charisma. Nothing more. The guy is very charismatic.


Canadiens & 'News & Views' Moderator
Staff member
Obama's high numbers were from charisma. Nothing more. The guy is very charismatic.
unless I am reading incorrectly, it only dealt with the first two weeks. Both the Narcissist and the former President ruled like dictators their first two weeks in office