WTVM Legal Break – Executive Orders

Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama

Gary Bruce discusses the recent use of Executive Orders and issues that arise in enforcing such orders. Gary explains the origin of Executive Orders and how they are used as a bypass of the legislative process. Executive Orders prevail over state laws; however, they do not prevail over treaties, federal statutes, or the United States Constitution. Problems can also arise with Executive Orders when they are overly broad or poorly drafted.  As we have learned, all “orders “ and laws, are subject to judicial review and the courts are often called upon to determine if the laws are allowed under the constitution, illustrating the importance of the law and our checks and balances.


Maureen: Hello there and welcome to Legal Break. I’m Maureen Akres, and with me today special guest, Gary Bruce, every Wednesday. Thank you so much for joining us today Gary.

Gary: Good to be here again, thank you.

Maureen: We’re talking about news of the day, things that are- you know issues that are out there. If you have any ideas we’d love to have them, love to have those questions, please email us- information has been up on the screen. So, President Trump has issued an executive order affecting immigration. Tell us a little bit about these executive orders, a lot of us are not familiar with that.

Gary: You know, I had to go back and look into the constitutional law that we study in law school to know more about it, and that’s really not what I do every day. I think there’s going to be a lot more work for constitutional lawyers though, over the next four years. Because these executive orders really kind of bypass the legislative process, you know. We learn as kids about the bill, and how it goes to legislature, and they put it together after both houses consider and make compromise, and then it goes to the president for putting into practice. And that’s what these executive orders were initially designed to do. Obama used them this way to kind of bypass the legislature and so is our president now. So, it’s not a new thing to Donald Trump, it’s just a way to kind of- seems to me, to do temporary things with an executive order. And this one in particular on the immigration is set to expire in 90 days. So, it’s a short fix, or it’s a short attempt to make a statement, really it seems to me, maybe more so than it really address issues long-term.

Maureen: So, is this executive order, or I guess in general, they are legal and constitutional then?

Gary: Well there’s some debate about that, you know. We lost her acting Attorney General over that issue. Is this one tailored in such a way that it is constitutional? I think that the debate over whether they can be used is fruitless. I mean I think you can use them, but then the actual drafting of the document matters, is it overly broad, does it meet the goals that it’s set out to do? And that’s where it gets attacked, maybe it’s overly broad, or poorly drafted. And I think and it’s already been attacked, and there’s some debate really in the legal community about whether this particular one has constitutional support.

Maureen: So do you want to lend your opinion? How do you think this one will turn out?

Gary: I think it will expire in 90 days. And then I think somebody will fight about it, and I personally don’t think it will pass. But that’s not up to me to decide, you know. So, I think it’ll be an interesting time for us to watch how these things play, and affect our communities.

Maureen: It is. It is, very good. If you have any questions again, if you have any we’d love to have those. You can email them in. Thanks so much for joining us today, Gary, as always every Wednesday, and we look forward to seeing you on the very next Legal Break.