Is the use of executive order an abuse of power?

Is the use of executive order an abuse of power?

Emma Garcia, Online Editor-in-Chief

When President Obama issued his Executive Order for stricter gun control laws a few weeks ago, he had the country’s best interest in mind. The Executive Order was meant to improve the lives of all Americans and I respect what he was trying to do. Many doubt whether or not these Executive Orders will in fact be as helpful as they’re supposed to, but I believe his intentions were good. However, the way Obama went about these changes is unacceptable.

Our government is organized is to prevent the president from using his power in this way. The whole point of checks and balances is to make sure no branch has too much power and President Obama’s extensive use of the Executive Order is an abuse of that philosophy. Yes, he did a potentially good thing but if he sets that example then it could lead to adverse effects down the road. Just because this situation seems to be working out doesn’t mean that the next president will use this same kind of tactic for a good cause. The decision to intern the Japanese was an Executive Order; what’s stopping Donald Trump from using an Executive Order to do that to Muslims if he is elected? President Obama is setting a horrible precedent for our next president, whoever they may be.

Also, Executive Orders are great for the short term but spokespeople from the Republican party have already said that if one of their candidates is elected, they will get rid of all these changes. If that happens, all of the trouble President Obama has gone through and all the criticism he has received will be for nothing. Yes, it is nearly impossible to get any bill through Congress, let alone a bill that will actually affect anything, but going over Congress’ head with an Executive Order isn’t going to help anyone. The checks and balances system exists to protect our civil rights and no one should be able to just ignore that. Not to mention that his other Executive Orders ― movements to do with immigration, the Keystone Oil Pipeline, and environmental mandates ― are now in court or will be headed there soon ― a process that could drag on for years. President Obama has mostly the right motives, but he has ignored the checks and balances and there aren’t enough good results to justify his actions.