Executive orders have been around since day one, when George Washington in 1873 instructed his federal officers to prosecute any citizen from interfering with the war between England and France.
Executive orders are not specifically mentioned in the United States Constitution, but presidents have relied on implied references in Article II of the Constitution.
A. The executive shall be vested in the president of United States.
B. The president of the United States is commander- in -chief of the Army and Navy.
C. The president of United States shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
I don't know why the legislators are whining about executive orders because they can be overruled by the courts or nullified by the legislators. Until then, they have the full weight of the law.
Executive order 9066 issued by President Franklin Roosevelt was probably the most outrageous one, because it called for sending 122,000 Japanese- Americans to interment camps. Congress was equally guilty because of months later they passed a law making it a Federal offense to disobey the executive order.
Then there was President Lincoln in 1861, who suspended the leader of a a militia group, John Merryman's right to appear in court (habeas corpus) but in 1863 Congress officially gave Lincoln that power.
President Teddy Roosevelt broke the 1000 mark for executive orders but his fifth 'cause and Franklin D. Roosevelt more than tripled that with 3522 of those bad boys.
I know it would anger me every time President George W. Bush would sign a law passed by Congress and then attach a signing statement saying that he reserved the right to go around that law is necessary. I never got upset over the amount of executive orders because was all was about what was in those executive orders.
A lot of the anger over President Obama's use of executive orders can be traced back to his winning two consecutive presidential races. The voters who lost want their representatives to hold the presidency to the fire until reinforcements arrive. Those voters don't realize that Congress or the Supreme Court has already given the president the powers to issue those executive orders. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has the right to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean-Air Act. To them, it's not how many executive orders President Obama issues because they don't want him to the issue any. They ignore all the executive orders other presidents have used and say Obama is a monarch or worse yet a dictator because he uses the legal tools at his disposal to get things done.