Steve and I were discusing this earlier, so I decided to post the article in part and correct Juan’s errors, which mainly are on Executive orders issued by the President having the force of law. The Constitution gives ONLY Congress the authority to make law, the president sees that those laws are enforced. Historically, executive orders related to routine administrative matters and to the internal operations of federal agencies, such as amending Civil Service Rules and overseeing the administration of public lands.
One key fact to keep in mind about the design and implementation of our government is that the Founding Fathers wanted “Checks & Balances”.
“The accumulation of all power, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands…may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
–James Madison, Federalist 46
Presidents acting by executive order have been challenged in court, most notably in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952). In Youngstown Sheet & Tube, the Court held that President Truman had exceeded his authority by directing the seizure of steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War, stating that “the president’s power to see that laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.” Thus, the majority found that Truman had strayed too far into the province of the legislature, violating the separation-of-powers doctrine.
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 can 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). In other words Congress passed the law and gave the President some say so in the implemetation of that law, never the less Congress made the law, not the President. And he acts only on their authority.
So after all of this, here’s a portion of Juan Williams article:
Quick draw Republicans in Congress, intent on stopping any gun-control proposal from the Obama White House, are way off target when they accuse the president of violating gun ownership rights under the Constitution.
Gun control is completely consistent with the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And President Obama is on target with the great American tradition of proposing gun control laws for Congressional approval as well as by issuing executive orders on gun control.