Some of President Barack Obama’s (D) controversial executive orders could be targeted by America’s next president. Political scientist Nicholas Nicoletti of Missouri Southern State University in Joplin says President-elect Donald Trump (R) can simply issue a new executive order overturning the previous one. Nicoletti says executive orders can sometimes overstep their constitutionality and are still subject to judicial review.
Some of Obama’s orders that could be in question include a federal overtime rule, further restrictions on firearms sales, a rule allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identity and EPA regulations.
The federal overtime rule is set to begin on December 1. The directive will extend overtime pay to salaried workers making up to $47,000 and working more than 40 hours a week. Currently, that cutoff is $24,000. Opponents of the rule say employers will have to cut full time workers’ hours and benefits. Several states are suing to try and block the implementation of the rule. Supporters of the rule say it will help workers receive a fair wage and lift people out of poverty.
Obama issued an executive order in January that would expand background checks for those who want to buy firearms and restrict online and gun show sales. The order also calls for hiring more personnel to process background checks, direct officials to conduct more gun research, encourage more domestic violence prosecutions, order better tracking of lost guns and provide more funding for mental health treatment. Supporters of the order say it will help curb gun violence, not take away everybody’s guns. Many Republicans say the President is infringing on people’s Second Amendment rights and his actions do not stop recent mass shootings in the U.S.
Several states are suing the Obama administration to contest a policy that allows transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Many Republicans say the issue is for states to decide, not the federal government. Some Democrats say the rule ensures that transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.
The EPA’s power plant regulations have also drawn opposition from many Republicans. They aim to reduce power plant emissions nationwide 30% by 2030. Republicans argue that the regulations would result in much higher electric bills. Supporters of the rule it would make electric rates more expensive in the short term.
Several states are suing to try and block implementation of the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule. Some Republicans say the EPA would have authority over nearly 100% of every body of water in the country. Supporters of the rule say it would protect streams and wetlands from pollution by more clearly defining which waters are protected.