Fast Focus: 'Does Obama overuse the executive order?' Use it more

February 9, 2014 

Neither I nor anyone else who responds to this week's Fast Focus question is likely to be suitably qualified to answer it. The range of powers delegated to the president through executive orders is a complex legal issue, and I hope that anyone who is sufficiently arrogant to offer a "yes or no" opinion will provide specific instances of either proper exercise or abuse of that power and cite appropriate sections of the Constitution and relevant Supreme Court decisions to back up that opinion.

I would wager that all of our local right-wing ideologues will pop out of the woodwork and lament that President Obama is "trampling the Constitution," a phrase they learned from Fox News, but they won't back up their whiny complaints. It's actually a bit surprising that the president has issued fewer executive orders than any president in recent history despite the fact that America no longer has a Congress.

I personally hope that the president will use his power to the fullest possible extent and do some of the things that the American people put him in the White House to do.

-- MARTIN BENSKY, Richland

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