The scope and implications of a Presidential “executive order”

22News explains the legal scope of the President's actions and who they are affecting

President Donald Trump tweets "there's nothing nice about searching for terrorists" after a weekend of nationwide protests against his travel ban targeting seven Muslim countries.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the flick of a pen, President Donald Trump has flexed his executive powers. Trump has signed at least 18 executive orders in his first week and they are affecting not only Americans, but people across the world.

Since he has taken office, President Donald Trump has signed a number of executive actions, orders, and memoranda. Trumps most notable orders as of yet, have included rolling back Obamacare, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and instructing a crack down on homeland security– putting a ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from coming into the U.S.

An executive order is a legally binding document that declares government policy. Unable to reverse any laws passed by Congress, it more often than not is used to delegate and direct government agencies and departments.

Julie Walsh, a Professor at American International College’s Political Science Department said, “The courts can review them, the courts can strike them down if they’re unconstitutional.”

Executive orders are directions to the executive branch from the President in how to carry out a law and have to be based on a constitutional authority or statute. Trump is just the latest in a long line of commanders-in-chief that act quickly in their first weeks of office.

“I think what he’s trying to do is fulfill a number of campaign promises as fast as he can, but there’s a lot of limitations on what these executive orders can accomplish,” Professor Walsh said.

While federal judges have made rulings that strike down part of Trump’s orders, his actions overall impact could encounter more legal debate in the future.