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Executive Orders, A Travel Ban on Hold, and Separation of Powers
Article II of the US Constitution generally describes the office of the president of the United States. During the constitutional convention of 1787, the drafters created this new kind of executive official, one that would be head of state and government but whose powers would be constrained. Over time, presidents have expanded their powers not by having the Constitution amended but simply by taking on more power. An example of this is the executive order compelling governmental agencies to act in certain ways specified by the order. There is no mention in the Constitution of a specific power to issue executive orders, but the power itself has been determined to be a constitutional exercise by presidents. If, however, any president over-reaches in the exercise of this power, the courts can, via separation of powers (judicial review), declare an executive order unconstitutional or illegal.
Soon after inauguration, President Trump issued an executive order (Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States) suspending the admission of refugees into the United States and barring the entry of individuals from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The original executive order was replaced by another in March (Executive Order 13780, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States); a Ã¢â‚¬Å“watered-down, politically correct versionÃ¢â‚¬Â of 13769, according to the president. The modification was the result of several federal district and appellate courts barring the enforcement of the executive order. Recently, President Trump asked the United States Supreme Court to take up the issue for a final determination about the legality and enforceability of the executive order.
The so-called (by President Trump) Ã¢â‚¬Å“travel banÃ¢â‚¬Â raises a number of questions about the exercise of executive power, the courts, civil liberties, civil rights, and foreign policy. For background information, please read this article from the British newspaper The Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/trump-travel-ban-blocked-federal-appeals-court (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Please feel free to consult other sources of information should you need further background. There are Wikipedia articles that do a good job providing details about the actions of the several courts that have been involved in this issue (and I have no problem with students consulting Wikipedia, though it is not a reference one should use for academic research).
Your Discussion response will focus on the relationship of civil liberties and civil rights to the travel ban in addition to some of the separation of powers issues that the topic raises. Specifically:
In what ways is this a civil liberties issue?
In what ways is this a civil rights issue?
Do you believe the federal courts will ultimately rule against President TrumpÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s executive order or do you believe the president can modify it in such a way that it will pass judicial review?
If the Supreme Court rules that President TrumpÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s executive order is enforceable, how do you think it will influence US Foreign policy?
What have you learned by doing this assignment?
I recommend organizing your essay into five paragraphs that address each of the elements of the assignment listed above. This structure will keep you focused on what is required and it will ensure that you respond fully. This is an essay that requires you to think about the topic, the assigned readings from chapters 4, 5, 12, 13, 17. The textbook does not provide answers; rather, it provides information and context from which you develop a response that demonstrates to me your understanding of course content. There is no one correct response.
The minimum word count for your essay is 270 (this translates to one page, double-spaced, 12-point Ariel font, one-inch margins). If you fail to meet the minimum word count the highest scores you will earn is 60% of possible points (15/25). All students have the opportunity to earn full creditÃ¢â‚¬â€100% of possible points (25/25)Ã¢â‚¬â€if all instructions are followed carefully, you proofread your response to minimize writing errors, and you submit on time.
Remember, you must write in your own wordsÃ¢â‚¬â€no quotes or paraphrases or plagiarism from any other source. You do not need to cite the Guardian article because it provides the background for the assignment. Do provide a works referenced list from any other source you consult when preparing your response.
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