Is the President Above the Law? The Debate Over Executive Orders
In 1788, the United States Constitution was ratified and put into effect. This document created the three branches of government: the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch. Among other things, it established that the President of the United States is head of the Executive Branch and is responsible for enforcing laws. Over time, however, there has been much debate over whether or not Presidents
can use executive orders to get around Supreme Court decisions. Let's take a look at this debate and see where it stands today!
Pocket U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence
The first instance of this debate came about in 1832 when President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act. This act allowed for the forced removal of Native Americans from their lands east of the Mississippi River. The Supreme Court ruled that this act was unconstitutional, but Jackson ignored the ruling and enforced the act anyway.
In more recent years, there has been debate over whether or not President Barack Obama could sign an executive order that would allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States. In 2014, a group of 26 states sued to stop this executive order, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court. However, before the Court could issue a ruling, President Donald Trump rescinded Obama's executive order.
So where does this debate stand today? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. The Supreme Court has never issued a definitive ruling on whether or not the President can sign an executive order that goes against one of its decisions. This means that the debate is likely to continue for many years to come!
What do you think? Should the President be able to sign executive orders that go against Supreme Court decisions? Or should the President be bound by the same rules as everyone else? below!