Executive Order - Basis in U.S. Constitution

Basis in U.S. Constitution

U.S. presidents have issued executive orders since 1789. Although there is no Constitutional provision or statute that explicitly permits executive orders, there is a vague grant of "executive power" given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and furthered by the declaration "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5. Most Executive Orders use these Constitutional reasonings as the authorization allowing for their issuance to be justified as part of the President's sworn duties, the intent being to help direct officers of the U.S. Executive carry out their delegated duties as well as the normal operations of the federal government: the consequence of failing to comply possibly being the removal from office.

Other types of orders issued by 'the Executive' are generally classified simply as administrative orders rather than Executive Orders. These are typically the following:

  • Presidential determination
  • Presidential memorandum
  • Presidential notice

Presidential directives are considered a form of executive order issued by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of a major agency or department found within the Executive branch of government. Some types of Directives are the following:

  • National Security Directives
  • Homeland Security Presidential Directives (presidential decision directives)

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