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Dutchess_III's avatar

How many of Obama's Executive Orders were overturned for being unconstitutional compared to Trump's?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42268points) December 5th, 2017

Please provide sources.

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10 Answers

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I don’t have sources and am pressed for time, but I’d like to get the discussion started. This topic is near-and-dear to me.

The answer is: 1 in 8 years.

Obama’s detractors will say that he had 13 overturned. But:

- 9 of the 13 actually began under the administration of George W. Bush, although the subsequent Justice Department handled the appellate process for those cases.

- 3 of the 13 had nothing to do with Executive Orders. In one case, the Obama administration wasn’t even a plaintiff or a defendant; the Justice Department merely filed a brief supporting a Massachusetts law being challenged.

- the whopping total of 1 of 13 is a well-reported and documented immigration order. I believe it ended with a 4–4 tie at the Supreme Court.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That was in 8 years. How many of Trump’s executive orders were overturned or stopped cold because they were unconstitutional?

seawulf575's avatar

This is an interesting question. Since the only official way to say an EO was unconstitutional is for it to go to the Supreme Court. Lower courts can rule all day long, but until the SCOTUS rules, it really isn’t official…for Executive Orders. By this rationale, Trump has had none. That’s not so say that some of his wouldn’t have been ruled that way or that even given a 4–4 tie the lower court ruling could hold. But none have gone there yet so the tally for Trump is 0. Obama was ruled against by the SCOTUS 13 times. I know, the critics love to say that 8 of these started under Bush II. That is true…to a point. But when Obama takes up the appellate of these decisions, he shows ownership of those issues. For executive orders, the oncoming president can stop a previous EO by merely writing an EO that negates it. However, you have to look deeper. Not all of the decisions that went to the SCOTUS under Obama were actually related to EOs. His recess appointments to the NLRB were ruled unconstitutional, but these were not done via executive order. I’m still digging into how many of the SCOTUS rulings against Obama were related to EOs.
Trump has had a couple that were challenged in lower courts which the courts stopped. The first one I remember was the travel ban. The lower courts (which were all liberal, by the way) were ruling the bans were likely unconstitutional. Rather than pursue that, he rewrote the ban and submitted it. That one, as far as I know, is still being challenged.
Right now, I would say that officially Obama has at least a couple and Trump has none. But Trump has a long way to go and could easily catch up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Read the post above you by @Love_my_doggie.

“Obama’s detractors will say that he had 13 overturned. But:

- 9 of the 13 actually began under the administration of George W. Bush, although the subsequent Justice Department handled the appellate process for those cases.

- 3 of the 13 had nothing to do with Executive Orders. In one case, the Obama administration wasn’t even a plaintiff or a defendant; the Justice Department merely filed a brief supporting a Massachusetts law being challenged.

- the whopping total of 1 of 13 is a well-reported and documented immigration order. I believe it ended with a 4–4 tie at the Supreme Court.

It can take years to get a EO through the Supreme Court so as far as what Trump has done, this can’t really be answered at this time. Much of what Trump has tried to do has become null and void and not yet addressed by the Supreme Court.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III I saw the post. I might concede it was 9 instead of 8 cases, but in the end, I don’t like to just take something in a post as fact. I like to do my own homework. I also found the article where @Love_my_doggie pulled it from. And I also disagree with negating the 9 cases because they came form Bush II. That is the blame Bush mentality. Trump has undone some of Obama’s EOs merely by writing an EO to negate it. Obama had the same option with those other EOs, but he chose to take them through the appellate process. That shows ownership so the 9 cases fall to him as well, IMHO.
But really, the original question can’t be fully answered at this time…I agree with you. It might very well end up, in the end, that Trump has more than Obama by the end of the presidency.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But….they were Bush’s initiative! Not Obama’s! So blaming Bush hits the mark.

Trump doesn’t give much thought to the consequences of his actions.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree that Bush is guilty too. I’m not arguing that. But the question was not how many of Bush’s EOs were unconstitutional, it was how many of Obama’s were. And when
Obama didn’t cancel the ones Bush created, but instead fought to make them real, he assumed ownership and they became his. So those have to go onto his tally as well. We have already seen how easily a president can cancel an EO…Trump has done it plenty so far. Basically a stroke of the pen. Had Obama done that, I would not count those towards him. And I would have to ask the question…if you have 9 EOs in front of the SCOTUS from your predecessor and the question is their Constitutionality, why WOULD you absorb them? If you liked some of what they did, cancel them, rewrite them so they are Constitutional, and issue them again.
As for Trump not giving much thought to consequences, I’m not so sure. Being in a position where none of the career politicians like you or want to work with you and being faced with a hostile, biased media that is trying everything they can to discredit you, I would think that, unless you are a complete moron, you would be thinking at least three steps ahead all the time. And yes, I know, the common belief on these pages is that he is a complete moron. But you don’t get elected POTUS by being a complete moron. Now, is he pompous? Arrogant? Obnoxious? Yep…you get no argument from me.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@seawulf575 Clueless comes to mind when talking about the international and national actions taken by POTUS.
Kiss the Grand Canyon good bye (I know, @seawulf575 you personally don’t care about National Parks, the environment or your grand-kids future) He is selling out to the highest bidder, making sure that his son and son-in-law know up front to load the “stock portfolio” for his family.
S M H

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie you know absolutely nothing about me. You like to think you do, because you probably believe I am the rabid, right-wing extremist, probably a neo-nazi, that supports Trump blindly and will do anything to make a democrat look bad. That is what you have been taught to think about anyone that doesn’t sing to the liberal songbook. And it would help your arguments against me. I get it…you don’t like me. I’ve heard it all before, and I remain unaffected. But when you start your comments with summations of my likes and dislikes, you really do make yourself look foolish.
But let’s get to the issues you want to bring up. You are reading too many posts on Far-Left outlets. Trump has put forth two Presidential Proclamations to shrink the size of two national parks in Utah. Neither is the Grand Canyon, but both had their sizes cut. Bear’s Ears was cut by about a million acres. It should be noted that Obama created this national monument just about a month before he left office. The other is the Grand Staircase-Escalante which was cut about in half. There are arguments on both sides as to whether this is good or not. But one of the things Obama did during his term was to greatly expand the amount of federal controlled land, which was a big point of contention.
As for the Grand Canyon, all Trump has done is to issue an executive order to evaluate uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, which was in place until banned by Obama in 2012. That is a far cry from getting rid of the Grand Canyon.
I’m not sure I agree with restarting the uranium mining. Obama put a 20 year ban on it to see about measuring the impact on the environment. That might be okay, if there was actual solid evidence that it might be impacting it. If an industry is impacting the environment, there is always some fingerprint to it. Oil or chemicals in the water that can be measured downstream, build up of silt beyond what would be normal and can be tracked back to the industry…these sort of things point to an impact to the environment. But barring some evidence, Obama’s ban looks like a long term science experiment that really doesn’t have solid test parameters set. I would have to look into the reasoning more to be sure, but on the surface, that is how it comes across.
But I think if you want to reinstitute the mining, the people in the area, especially the Hopi, should be considered. From an economic aspect, it would probably be good for the area. From an impact into holy lands, it would probably be bad for the area.
It is doubtful that if mining were to restart, it would do any significant damage to the Grand Canyon. I’m pretty sure the canyon will still be there, will still draw millions every year to see it, and even if you visit every year for the next 50 years, you wouldn’t be able to see any changes attributable to the mining. As for the pollution of the Colorado River, as I mentioned, that should have been a measurable thing already and the mining would have been shutdown for EPA violations.

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