The President’s recent signing of his executive order dealing with religious liberty was much anticipated by all concerned with First Amendment liberties in our fast-changing nation.
An executive order is not legislation and it is never a substitute for legislation.
And yet an executive order can impact the entire executive branch for the duration of a president’s administration.
In his order, President Trump directed, “It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.” Here’s how we should understand it: This is the president’s statement of direction.
The executive order also—and this is significant—effectively reverses the contraception mandate of the Obamacare legislation and thus addresses an immediate issue in America’s public life.
No: It’s not substitute for legislation. But it is a signal of direction and that’s significant … it’s yet one more reminder of why elections matter.