Investigation Launched Into The “Constitutionality” Of Executive Orders

( – When the Missouri General Assembly meets in Springfield on Jan. 4, Rep. Brian Seitz (R-Branson) will begin his third session. For the third time, he is sponsoring a bill requiring state legislators to examine and possibly, disregard some presidential executive orders.

Seitz stated that his proposed House Bill 174 would require the Missouri House to examine all presidential executive orders that were not confirmed by a Congressional vote to see if “they are, in fact, Constitutional.”

The bill mandates that a presidential executive order that raises doubts in the Missouri House be sent to the state’s attorney general for review to see if it “restricts a person’s constitutional rights.”

Seitz said he strongly supports states’ rights and is extremely worried about losing their authority as a legislature to federal overreach.

Any presidential executive order relating to “regulation of business activities or personal behaviors during a pandemic or other public health emergency,” to “the constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” to natural resources, the agricultural sector, to land use, to “the imposition of environmental, social, or governance [ESG] standards in the financial sector,” would fall under this purview.

Seitz emphasized that if the measure were to be adopted, “it would cover executive orders from presidents of either party” and that “there are three branches of the government—not one.”

But make no mistake, the bill’s origins are hardly partisan—along with Senate companions introduced by Sen. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville).

Similar legislation has been introduced in at least nine other Republican-controlled state legislatures since Democrat Joe Biden took office as president in January 2021: Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, and South Carolina.

The Oklahoma and Tennessee bills made it through committee and were put to the vote in the chamber in 2021, but they were not ultimately passed.

According to Karla Jones, senior director for Homeland Security, International Relations, and Federalism at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the bills are a reaction to “federal overreach that infringes on state sovereignty.”

During their 2022 sessions, the state legislatures of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Virginia, among others, passed new legislation concerning executive orders and “states of emergency.”

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