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Old 01-05-2001, 05:09 PM
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Hawkeye Hawkeye is offline
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RE:Freedom to Fish Act

Steve,

Thanks for the further information on the practical effects of the executive order. I must admit to not having done any research on the matter and all I know is what is posted here. Perhaps the effect of the order is positive and it certainly appears that the effect is minimal on the recreational fisherman.

This discussion inspired me to do a little research on executive orders and I’ll pass on a little of what I learned. First of all the slippery slope theory is quite possible and aside from potential political fallout there is nothing to stop a President from issuing an order that does affect our backyard. Second, a good number of executive orders merely revoke or amend previous orders. So, given that history there is a very real chance that this EO could be revoked.

And finally you asked when I would approve of EOs. First of all I should say that I was wrong when I said the power has been abused over the last 8 years – Clinton is right in the neighborhood with other modern presidents with somewhere around 170 per term. The fact is that the power exists to be used and the fact that the limits are vague makes any claim of abuse poorly founded. My point is better made not as an abuse of power but an abuse of intent. I do not believe it to be the intent that the powers of the federal government be consolidated in the interest of efficiency, but rather that they be separated in the interest of democracy. I think EOs are properly made in cases of foreign policy and crisis such as: E.O. 12370 which was issued to create an emergency board to investigate a railroad dispute, Bush’s blocking Iraqi Government property and prohibiting transactions with Iraq, and Clinton’s prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process. I don’t think an EO is appropriate when the president merely thinks it is a good idea and it would just be too difficult to usher that idea through congress.
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