Executive orders are tools usable only by the President of the United States. Through this order, the president can dictate the pathway the executive branch will take. The executive order is a presidential written directive that gives the president power to enforce the law and have the executive agencies implement it. Unless these presidential directives violate existing statutes or the Constitution, they are legally valid before the judiciary (Thrower, 2021). The main difference between law and the executive order is that with law, Congressional oversight is essential before implementation, whereas executive orders are implements on the president’s command only. Therefore, the process of enacting a law is significantly more prolonged and complex compared to how executive orders operate. Another difference between law and the executive order is that the latter cannot be used to put private citizens under specific restrictions and regulations. Executive orders are powerless when it comes to abolishing an act of Congress or passing a budget. Article Two of the United States Constitution vests in the President the executive power (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). The president is authorized t use his/her discretion to dictate how to enforce the law and manage the executive branch.
Since President Biden was sworn in, he has used his executive powers multiple times within a short span than any other preceding president. On April 1st, His Excellency Biden used the executive order to end the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13928 of June 11th, 2020, revoking the order that blocked Property of Certain Persons allied to the International Criminal Court (The White House, 2021). Executive Order 13928 (enacted under Trump’s reign) imposed visa restrictions and enabled financial sanction against the personnel of the International Criminal Court (Schaack, 2021). President Biden is trying to show that his governance supports the international justice system. The intent of the ICC is to ensure accountability and justice globally. Through Biden’s executive order, it is evident his administration will support reforms that can help ICC effectively attain its mission of deterring atrocity felonies and execute punishment on guilty political figures (Schaack, 2021). The president’s action will go a long way in making the nation’s international relationship good.
The move of Trump’s administration to handicap the ICC came after the organization initiated investigations over war crimes in Afghanistan on the allegation that they were committed by the US (Hansler, 2021). The punitive actions against the ICC raised the attention of human rights organizations worldwide because it appeared as though the United States was hiding something or was getting in the way of justice. President Biden is up to setting this right and painting a clear image of the United States before human rights organizations. For the sake of the US’s national security, the nation ought to show it supports the rule of law and advocates for justice (Hansler, 2021). The United States is engaged with many countries across the globe, and their relationship can be affected if the US discourages accountability for mass atrocities.
I second President Biden’s executive order as it will put human rights at the center of American foreign policy. Human rights are a critical agenda that fosters good international relations d fortifies peace. Biden’s action will bring to operation tools of diplomacy by holding perpetrators of crime accountable and defending human rights. One cannot criticize Biden’s directive of terminating Executive Order 13928 because it has no shortcoming on the nation’s economic progress and other future endeavors.
Hansler, J. (2021, April 2). Biden revokes Trump executive order sanctioning International Criminal Court officials. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/02/politics/biden-trump-icc-eo-revoked/index.html
Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Article II. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleii
Thrower, S. (2021, January 26). What is an executive order, and why don’t presidents use them all the time? The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/what-is-an-executive-order-and-why-dont-presidents-use-them-all-the-time-150896
The White House. (2021, April 1). Executive order on the termination of emergency with respect to the International Criminal Court. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/04/01/executive-order-on-the-termination-of-emergency-with-respect-to-the-international-criminal-court/