Date of Publication

1-10-2020

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Steven Jurek, Associate Professor, Political Science

Abstract

American Presidents utilize an array of tools which each have a varying level of political expediency. Some tools may be well recognized and clearly defined yet slower and more cumbersome such as the general legislative process which formally makes bills into laws. Going through such a process can take considerable time because of the amount of checks and balances involved as well as the gridlocked nature of Congress. In contrast, other tools may be less well defined and possess potential to “get the job done quicker”. One can see these more efficient manifestations of power in the Executive Branch of government. For example, the President has ultimate authority over the military as Commander in Chief and accordingly has much more unilateral authority on that front than he does with the legislative process itself. Another integral part of this latter category is precisely the topic of this research paper: Executive Orders. These can be generally defined as binding instructions which the President can issue for implementation by the Executive Branch. There has been significant scholarly study on the subject of what instigates a President to issue Orders at a more frequent rate. Additionally, there has been much dispute over what they are used for in the first place.

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