President Bush’s declaration of a national state of emergency invokes stand-by powers contained in Executive Order, No. 12656 issued by President Ronald W. Reagan. Attached is a synopsis of the Executive Order as well as the Executive Order itself.
Our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in this case, which comes on a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where a bare majority ruled that Section 109 of the clean air act violated Article I, Section 1, of the United States Constitution which vests legislative power in Congress. The case generated a number of opinions, the majority insisting that there were still meaningful constitutional limits on Congressional delegation of powers, and the dissent contending that the doctrine was no longer taken seriously as a limit on Congressional power.
Today, the Supreme Court of North Dakota unanimously reversed a Cass County District Court order that would have dismantled and reconstituted the board of directors of Family Life Services, a Christian pro-life ministry in the Fargo-Morehead community. North Dakota’s high court ruled that the lower court’s order turning Family Life Services over to persons whose religious views met with the approval of the trial judge violated Family Life Services’ First Amendment rights of freedom of religion.
Today, Bill Olson was a guest of Bill O’Reilly (The O’Reilly Factor, Fox News) to discuss President Clinton’s abuse of Executive Orders. He discussed the Separation of Powers issue, current states of national emergency, the Permanent Striker Replacement Executive Order (No. 12954), and the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument Proclamation (No. 6920 issued under the Antiquities Act of 1906).
Our firm filed the brief of Free Speech Defense and Education Fund as amici curiae in support of petitioner in American Target Advertising, Inc. v. Francine A. Giani, Division Director, Utah Division of Consumer Protection in the United States Supreme Court. The brief argues that Utah’s Charitable Solicitations Act is unconstitutional. The Free Speech Defense and Education Fund was joined by 47 co-amici.
Today we filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of eight members of Congress (Hon. John T. Doolittle, Hon. George Radanovich, Hon. Tom Tancredo, Hon. Bob Stump, Hon. Barbara Cubin, Hon. Tom A. Coburn, Hon. Wally Herger, and Hon. John E. Perterson) and four nonprofit organizations (Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Gun Owners Foundation, Citizens United Foundation, and Concerned Women for America).
The Cato Institute study co-authored by Bill Olson, “Executive Orders and National Emergencies: How Presidents Have Come to ‘Run the Country’ by Usurping Legislative Power,” was quoted in this Enter Stage Right article “Congress Must Seize Back the Law-making Power.”
Our firm represented Presidential candidate Howard Phillips and The Constitution Party, who were named defendants in the case of Hooker v. FEC. On December 15, 1999, we filed a Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in support thereof, in the case in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, which was granted on April 12, 2000. John Jay Hooker v. Federal Election Commission, et al., 92 F.Supp.2d 740 (2000).
Bill Olson and the study he co-authored, “Executive Orders and National Emergencies: How Presidents Have Come to ‘Run the Country’ by Usurping Legislative Power,” were mentioned in this Insight on the News article.
Cato Institute Policy Analysis
by William J. Olson and Alan Woll
October 28, 1999
Executive Orders and National Emergencies: How Presidents Have Come to “Run the Country” by Usurping Legislative Power
“The problem of presidents’ using executive orders to legislate, usurping the powers of Congress or the states, has grown exponentially with the expansion of government in the 20th century,” William Olson, co-author of a new Cato Institute study on the abuse of executive orders, told the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process of the House Rules Committee today. “This raises fundamental concerns about the separation and division of powers. The Constitution does not provide for the power of a president to rule by executive order.”