Monday, October 26, 2009

The Unbridled Authority of Presidential "Executive Orders"


A friend passed me a link to an article on the dangers of Presidential Executive Orders that is interesting though it initially struck me as somewhat conspiratorial in its assertions about the insidious nature of Presidential "Executive Orders". I don't know who the author "Marion Valentine" is, but on further examination, I think he is correct in his narrow point that a "medical emergency" could be the route to martial law.

What buttresses that point is actually reading the Executive Orders he lists in his article. And doing further research, I found that the situation is much, much worse than I imagined.

I checked the source -- the actual text of the Executive Orders -- and found that for the most part, the assertions about their content are accurate, though the vast majority of the Orders he listed had long since been revoked or superceded. Nonetheless, there is value in reading them to understand how they evolved into the key orders now in effect today: EO's 11921 (Under Ford), 12148 (Under Carter) and 12656 (Under Reagan).

I didn't try to look at more current EOs than were listed in the article, but it is clear that their evolution started from a rationale based on a legitimate concern -- nuclear attack -- that was driven by the goal of circumventing Supreme Court restrictions on the imposition of martial law, as well as the 1878 Posse Comitatus law against using Federal military personnel as law enforcement on non-Federal property without Congressional authority.

By such means has federal authority morphed to undermine the Constitution.

Several things jumped out at me from reading the actual Executive Orders. Most importantly, they all rest on the failure to define an "emergency". Had an emergency been defined as an attack on the soil of the United States, these orders would be much less threatening, and possibly fully Constitutional. Often they make no such claim, and even when they reference the possibility of an attack on our soil, it's only "included" as one type of emergency while leaving other types undefined. That makes it clear the people writing these orders knew what they were doing.

The intent was to sidestep the Supreme Court's prohibition of "casual" implementation of "martial law" in the United States, based on Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution:
"The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
This is the primary Constitutional definition of an emergency. Rebellion or Invasion. Period. It implies authority for martial law only for these two cases and no other. It doesn't give authority to impose martial law for economic emergencies, environmental emergencies, medical emergencies or any other.

The Constitution doesn't make clear who can impose an "emergency" in case of rebellion or invasion -- the President or Congress. Lincoln obtained Congressional authority for martial law during the Civil War, but that was later overruled by the Supreme Court:
On September 15, 1863, Lincoln imposed Congressionally-authorized martial law. The authorizing act allowed the President to suspend habeas corpus throughout the entire United States. Lincoln imposed the suspension on "prisoners of war, spies, or aiders and abettors of the enemy," as well as on other classes of people, such as draft dodgers. The President's proclamation was challenged in ex parte Milligan (71 US 2 [1866]). The Supreme Court ruled that Lincoln's imposition of martial law (by way of suspension of habeas corpus) was unconstitutional.
Were I a lawyer mounting a challenge to TARP or other unconstitutional actions, this would be a key angle I would pursue. Many of the origins of these Orders came after WWII, as a response to the possibility of nuclear attack. The lack of definition of an "emergency" now allows the government to de facto implementation of martial law for almost any circumstance.

So the answer that came back from the Supremes was a firm limitation on the authority of either the President or Congress to impose martial law:
"Martial law ... destroys every guarantee of the Constitution. Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable; and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish."
The Court didn't say martial law could never be imposed -- they said Congress and the President did not have the authority in this case.
"If, in foreign invasion or civil war, the courts are actually closed, and it is impossible to administer criminal justice according to law, then, on the theatre of active military operations, where war really prevails, there is a necessity to furnish a substitute for the civil authority, thus overthrown, to preserve the safety of the army and society; and as no power is left but the military, it is allowed to govern by martial rule until the laws can have their free course. As necessity creates the rule, so it limits its duration; for, if this government is continued after the courts are reinstated, it is a gross usurpation of power. Martial rule can never exist where the courts are open, and in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction. It is also confined to the locality of actual war."
This is a clear limitation on Presidential and Congressional authority to declare "emergencies". It has been ignored for the last 70 years: only when and where there is an actual breakdown of order with no functioning police and courts can martial law be imposed.

What we're witnessing today is the extension of that authority by the means of "emergencies" that claim the same status as "Rebellion or Invasion", but without regard to a breakdown of law and order. The most recent and ludicrous is Obama's "swine flu emergency".

Another interesting insight gleaned from reading the Presidential EOs is the origins of the many "advisory" functions they create. These are the central mechanism subverting Congressional oversight of the Executive branch.

Here's how it works: in the EOs, delegation power is "reserved" to the President, who gives "guidance authority" to "advisors" made up out of thin air. The President appoints these "adviCzars" and then takes their "guidance" as orders he passes on to his Cabinet offices. Actual cabinet Secretaries become puppets, implementing the Czar policies, while the Czars (as Obama claims) have no obligation to report to Congress. The President thus circumvents Congressional approval of cabinet posts and oversight of Cabinet policy. This is why Obama is creating so many "Czars" as a complete shadow Cabinet. BiCzar.

Much of the "authority" in these EOs rests on bizarre interpretations of words like "guidance" and "planning", which are given no definition and a much broader meaning than most people would assume. Everything else is defined in these Orders, but not the words that really matter. Again, Obama's "advisors" provide "guidance" to the President for "planning", and he then delegates authority to "implement" those plans back to his Cabinet. In this manner the strings of the puppet master are pulled. For example, Van Jones, Special Advisor to the President for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Green Jobs Czar. How else do you get an avowed communist running parts of the country? (At least for awhile.)

Many of these EOs have arbitrary "claimancy" clauses as well. These assign the President unrestricted authority to seize anything for any reason whatsoever during an emergency.

Whatever the emergency is. These clauses are just stuck in there, with no legal basis provided whatsoever. No one has ever challenged them that I know. Now we have 60 years of "tradition" behind them, if not a single basis in the Constitution.

Authority for TARP is buried in these Orders, too, such as sub-clause (j) of Order 10997 under Kennedy. For a long time I've wondered why TARP hasn't been challenged in Court. The EOs explain it. A long tradition of Executive Orders, nothing more. What disturbs me is the possibility that so many victims could have been convinced they would lose in court because of Presidential Executive Orders, not actual Congressional law. Or that the courts would give Executive Orders the same status as actual statutes. Give me a break.

Again, in case of an actual attack on U.S. soil, especially a nuclear one, where there is literally chaos everywhere and no law enforcement and invading hordes of Chicomms,Russkis and replicating bureaucrats from D.C. or whatever, I wouldn't have a problem with many of these Orders. A genuine emergency. The problem principally rests on the definition of an "emergency" (and secondarily on the unquestioned authority to "claimancy"). This is how it should be attacked in Court.

This is what happens when citizens don't file cases against unconstitutional laws, and when the courts have been so philosophically corrupted that they don't declare unconstitutional laws and regulations and Orders unconstitutional. Thus is a free nation fascized and socialized. 

Side note: A great many of the egregious EOs were in anticipation of a nuclear attack and ordered by John F. Kennedy on one day -- February 16, 1962, fully 8 months before the Cuban Missile Crisis, well before any missiles had been discovered in Cuba -- as reported in the history books. This makes it almost certain that the books are wrong and that Russian nuclear missiles were in Cuba well before the time reported in the history books -- September, 1962. The Big Lie strikes again.

---------- List of Key Executive Orders and an Evaluation  of Each -----------

Following are the EO's listed in Valentine's article (his phrasing, in quotes), followed by my analysis.  Here also are the main two links from which I extracted excerpts from the actual EOs:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 "allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports."

Under Kennedy. Valentine's interpretation is wrong, or at least a huge stretch. It establishes a "safety council", and I couldn't find any authority to actually do something. Maybe I'm too generous in how they manipulate words. In any case, Superseded by EO 11612.  


EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 "allows the government to seize and control the communication media."

Agree with the assessment, but revoked by EO 11556. Excerpt:
SEC. 3. The authority to assign radio frequencies to Government agencies, vested in the President by section 305 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 305), including all functions heretofore vested in the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee, is hereby delegated to the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning, who may redelegate such authority to the Director of Telecommunications Management. Such authority shall include the power to amend, modify, or revoke frequency assignments

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 "allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals."

Agree with the assessment. Unbridled authority to seize and control. Add authority for price controls, rationing, etc. Note sub-clause (j) -- there is part of the TARP authority. But superceded by EO 11490 under Nixon. Key excerpts:
SECTION 1. Scope. The Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering (1) electric power; (2) petroleum and gas; (3) solid fuels; and (4) minerals. These plans and programs shall be designed to provide a state of readiness in these resource areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
SEC. 3. Resource Functions. With respect to the resources defined above, the Secretary shall:
(a) Priorities and allocations. Develop systems for the emergency application of priorities and allocations to the production and distribution of assigned resources.
(d) Claimancy. Prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies and services needed in support of assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Department before the appropriate agency, and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources in an emergency.
(i) (Economic Stabilization. Cooperate with the Office of Emergency Planning in the development of economic stabilization policies as they might affect the power, fuels and assigned minerals supply, production, and marketing programs, and the conservation of essential commodities in an emergency, including rationing of power and fuel.
( j ) Financial aid. Develop plans and procedures for financial and credit assistance to producers, processors, and distributors who might need such assistance in various mobilization conditions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 "allows the government to take over all food resources and farms."

Agree with the assessment. See Section 5, which essentially gives the President carte blanche authority to do whatever the hell he wants. Revoked and superceded by EO 11490. Key excerpts:
SECTION 1. Scope. The Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering: Food resources, farm equipment, fertilizer, and food resource facilities, as defined below; rural fire control; defense against biological warfare, chemical warfare, and radiological fallout pertaining to agricultural activities; and rural defense information and education. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
SEC. 3. Food Function. With respect to food resources, food resource facilities, farm equipment, and fertilizer the Secretary shall:
(a) Resources. Periodically assess assigned resources available from all sources in order to estimate availability under an emergency situation, analyze resource estimates in relation to estimated requirements in order to identify problem areas, and develop appropriate recommendations and programs including those necessary for the maintenance of an adequate mobilization base. Provide data and assistance before and after attack for national resource evaluation purposes of the Office of Emergency Planning.
(c) Priorities and allocations. Develop priorities, allocations and distribution control systems and related plans to insure that available food resources are properly apportioned among and distributed to civilian, military and foreign claimants in an emergency and develop priorities, allocations and distribution control systems and related plans for the domestic distribution of farm equipment and fertilizer.
(f) Economic stabilization. Cooperate with the Office of Emergency Planning in the development of stabilization policies as they might affect agricultural production, processing, distribution, and storage, and in tile development of policies for consumer rationing of food resources.
SEC. 4. Cooperation with Department of Defense. In consonance with national civil defense plans, programs and operations of the Department of Defense, under Executive Order No. 10952, the Secretary shall:
(c) Biological, chemical, and radiological warfare defense functions. Develop plans for a national program, direct Federal activities, and furnish technical guidance to State and local authorities concerning (1) diagnosis and strengthening of defensive barriers and control or eradication of diseases, pests, or chemicals introduced as agents of biological or chemical warfare against animals, crops or products thereof; (2) protective measures, treatment and handling of livestock, including poultry, agricultural commodities on farms or ranches, agricultural lands, forest lands, and water for agricultural purposes, any of which have been exposed to or affected by radiation. Plans shall be developed for a national program and direction of Federal activities to assure the safety and wholesomeness and to minimize losses from biological and chemical warfare radiological effects, and other emergency hazards of livestock, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products in establishments under the continuous inspection of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and agricultural commodities and products owned by the Commodity Credit Corporation or by the Secretary.
SEC. 5. Claimancy. The Secretary shall prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies and services which would be needed to carry out assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Department from the appropriate agency and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources Ill an emergency.
(c) Emergency planning. Emergency plans and programs, and emergency organization structure required thereby, shall be developed as an integral part of the continuing activities of the Department of the Interior on the basis that it will have the responsibility for carrying out such programs during an emergency. The Secretary shall be prepared to implement all appropriate plans developed under this order. Modifications, and temporary organizational changes, based on emergency conditions, will be in accordance with policy determination by the President.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 "allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision."

Agreed. Mass civilian conscription is authorized. Also add "Wage and Price Controls", and "power to expropriate anything they need from anyone for any reason whatsoever". Revoked and superceded by EO 11490.
SECTION 1. Scope. The Secretary of Labor (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering civilian manpower mobilization, more effective utilization of limited manpower resources including specialized personnel, wage and salary stabilization, worker incentives and protection, manpower resources and requirements, skill development and training, research, labor-management relations, and critical occupations. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
(f) Claimancy. Prepare plans to claim materials, equipment, supplies and services needed in support of assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Department from appropriate agencies and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure the availability of such resources in an emergency.
This order, issued February 16, 1962, is an extremely comprehensive statement of government authority in a national emergency such as a nuclear war. You should read the entire thing. But what's really interesting -- it came out 8 months before the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. The history is that the missiles weren't put in Cuba till September 1962. That says to me they knew a crisis was brewing long before.  


EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 "allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions."

Agreed. Add unbridled authority to impose a massive welfare state. Revoked and superceded by EO 11490.
SECTION 1. Scope. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering health services, civilian health manpower, health resources, welfare services, and educational programs as defined below. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency including attack upon the United States.
SEC. 3. Health Functions. With respect to emergency health services, as defined above, and in consonance with national civil defense plans, programs and operations of the Department of Defense under Executive Order No. 10952, the Secretary shall:
(f) Food, drugs, and biologicals. Plan and direct national programs for the maintenance of purity and safety in the manufacture and distribution of food, drugs, and biologicals in an emergency.
There is also this ominous and peculiar Section 7:
SEC. 7. Resources. The Secretary shall periodically assess assigned resources available from all sources in order to estimate availability under an emergency situation, analyze resource estimates in relation to estimated requirements in order to identify problem areas and develop appropriate recommendations and programs. Provide data and assistance before and after attack for national resource evaluation purposes of the Office of Emergency Planning.
It is strangely vague and doesn't refer to "health resources" in any way. What "resources" is it referring to? For what purpose?

This EO is the equivalent of Directive 10-289 from Atlas Shrugged:
SEC. 8. Relative Urgencies. The Secretary shall develop standards and relative urgencies for emergency health and welfare services for guidance of Federal agencies, States, and communities in providing maximum protection to survivors, and for the purpose of conserving, improving availability, and allocating such resources.
SEC. 10. Claimancy. The Secretary shall prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies and services needed to carry out assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Department, from the appropriate agency and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources in an emergency. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 "designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons."

True, though allegedly it's for "welfare" and "re-uniting families" after an attack. Revoked and superceded by EO 11490.
SECTION 1. Scope. The Postmaster General shall assist in the development of a national emergency registration system. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in this area with respect to all conditions of national emergency including attack upon the United States.
SEC. 2. Cooperation with Department of Defense. In consonance with national civil defense plans, programs, and operations of the Department of Defense under Executive Order No. 10952, the Postmaster General shall:
(a) Registration system. Assist in planning a national program and developing technical guidance for States, and directing Post Office activities concerned with registering persons and families for the purpose of receiving and answering welfare inquiries, and reuniting families in civil defense emergencies. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 "allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft."

True. But revoked and superceded by EO 11490
SECTION 1. Scope. The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering the emergency management of the Nation's civil airports, civil aviation operating facilities, civil aviation services, and civil aircraft other than air carrier aircraft. These plans and programs shall be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
(f) Claimancy. Prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies, and services needed to carry out assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the agency from the appropriate agencies and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources in an emergency. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 "allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations."

True. But revoked and superceded by EO 11490
SECTION 1. Scope. The Housing and Home Finance Administrator (hereinafter referred to as the Administrator) shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering all aspects of lodging or housing and community facilities related thereto.
(f) Claimancy. Prepare plans to claim materials, manpower, equipment, supplies, and services needed in support of assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the agency from appropriate agencies, and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources in an emergency.
(b) Temporary housing. Develop plans for the emergency repair and restoration to use of damaged housing, for the construction and management of emergency housing units and the community facilities related thereto, and for the emergency conversion to dwelling use of non-residential structures with public funds through direct Federal action or through financial or credit assistance.
(c) Population movement. Participate in the preparation of plans for determining which areas are to be restored and in the development and coordination of plans for the movement of people on a temporary basis from areas to be abandoned to areas where housing is available or can be made available.
(e) Vulnerability. Participate in promoting the dispersal of new or expanding communities and government installations in conformance to national vulnerability reduction policy. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 "allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities."

True. Revoked and superceded by EO 11490.
SECTION 1. Scope. The Interstate Commerce Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission shall prepare national emergency plans and develop preparedness programs covering railroad utilization, reduction of vulnerability, maintenance, restoration, and operation in an emergency; motor carrier utilization, reduction of vulnerability, and operation in an emergency; inland waterway mutilization of equipment and shipping, reduction of vulnerability, and operation in an emergency, excepting the St. Lawrence Seaway; and also provide guidance and consultation to domestic surface transportation and storage industries, as defined below, regarding emergency preparedness measures, and to States regarding development of their transportation plans in assigned areas. These plans and programs will be designed to develop a state of readiness in these areas with respect to all conditions of national emergency, including attack upon the United States.
(c) Claimancy. Prepare plans to claim material, equipment, manpower, supplies, and services needed to carry out assigned responsibilities and other essential functions of the Commission before the appropriate agency, and work with such agencies in developing programs to insure availability of such resources in an emergency. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 "specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis."

I think so, but didn't read closely enough to be sure. If you thought the Health Care Bill was bad, read this one carefully. I think this is a real smoking gun. It is very long and replaces the Director of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization" with "the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning. But revoked by EO 12148.
SECTION 101. Resume of responsibilities. The Director of the Office of Emergency Planning (hereinafter referred to as the Director) shall:
(a) Advise and assist the President in the coordination of and in the determination of policy for the emergency plans and preparedness assignments of the Federal departments and agencies (hereinafter referred to as Federal agencies) designed to make possible at Federal, State and local levels the mobilization of the human, natural and industrial resources of the nation to meet all conditions of national emergency, including attack on the United States.
(b) Under the direction of the President, be responsible for the preparation of nonmilitary plans and preparedness programs with respect to organization and functioning of the Federal Government under emergency conditions and with respect to specific areas of Federal activity necessary in time of war which are neither performed in the normal operations of the regular departments and agencies nor assigned thereto by or under the authority of the President.
(c) Perform such other functions as are vested in him by law or are by this order, or by orders referred to in this order, delegated or otherwise assigned to him.
(d) Perform such additional functions as the President may from time to time direct.
You got all that? This Order amends or supercedes many other prior Executive Orders to expand their scope, but you can't get the full gist unless you dig out those older Orders. I didn't have time to wade through all that, but I believe the thrust is an expansion of the meaning of "emergency" in prior Orders, that extends an emergency to non-civil defense matters.

Here's another of those insidiously vague clauses:
(e) Executive Order No. 10582 of December 17, 1954, is hereby amended by striking from Section 3 (d) thereof the words "from any officer of the Government designated by the President to furnish such advice" and by inserting in lieu of the stricken words the following: "from the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning. In providing this advice the Director shall be governed by the principle that exceptions under this section shall be made only upon a clear showing that the payment of a greater differential than the procedures of this section generally prescribe is justified by consideration of national security".
If you can find any meaning in that other than a claim of arbitrary authority to do whatever the hell they want, you're better than me. 


EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 "grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President."

Translation: they are the enforcers. This one wasn't listed at the links I provided, by the way, so I can't quote from it.

EO 11310 was ordered by Johnson, and then revoked by EO 11490 under Nixon shortly thereafter. Then 11490 was then revoked by EO 12656 under... guess who? Ronald Reagan. See below.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11490 "assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period."

Under Richard Nixon. Revoked and superceded by EO 12656. Valentine misnumbered this one as "11049" because he copied his list from everyone else on the web. It at least claims some genuine Congressional authority:
WHEREAS the Congress has directed the development of such national emergency preparedness plans and has provided funds for the accomplishment thereof; and
WHEREAS this national emergency preparedness planning activity has been an established program of the United States Government for more than twenty years:
And then goes on forever. It is the LONGEST of the EOs.
SECTION 101 Purpose. This order consolidates the assignment of emergency preparedness functions to various departments and agencies heretofore contained in the 21 Executive orders and 2 Defense Mobilization orders listed in Section 3015 of this order. Assignments have been adjusted to conform to changes in organization which have occurred subsequent to the issuance of those Executive orders and Defense Mobilization orders.
And then proceeds to explictly broaden the definition of an emergency without bound:
(b) The departments and agencies of the Federal Government are hereby severally charged with the duty of assuring the continuity of the Federal Government in any national emergency type situation that might confront the nation.
This thing is almost as long as Obama's Health Care Bill. I barely skimmed. But it's as bad as you might expect. It is a massive umbrella EO that just consolidates everything before it and piles on. But... it was revoked and superceded by EO 12656... 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 "allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months."

Gerald Ford. Amends EO 11490. Supersedes EO's 11522, 11746. STILL IN EFFECT. Note the broadening of the definition of "emergency".
SEC. 2. The phrase 'the Office of Emergency Preparedness' is deleted wherever it occurs, and in its place is inserted the phrase 'the Federal Preparedness Agency (GSA)'.
And just selecting examples at random, here's more farm policy stuff (remember EO 10998 back in 1962?):
(2) Nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards protection for agriculture. Develop, in consonance with overall planning of the Environmental Protection Agency, plans for a national program, direct Federal activities, and furnish technical guidance to State and local authorities concerning (a) diagnosis and strengthening of defensive barriers and control or eradication of diseases, pests, or chemicals introduced as agents of biological or chemical warfare against animals, crops or products thereof; (b) protective measures, treatment and handling of livestock, including poultry or products thereof, which have been exposed to or affected by radiation; and, (c) use of crops, agricultural commodities on farms and ranches, agricultural lands, forest lands, and water for agricultural purposes, any of which have been exposed to or affected by radiation. Develop plans for a national program and direction of Federal activities to assure the safety and wholesomeness and to minimize losses from hazardous agents (nuclear, biological and chemical) and other emergency hazards of livestock, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products in establishments under the continuous inspection of the Department of Agriculture, and agricultural commodities and products owned by the Commodity Credit Corporation or by the Department of Agriculture.
and Health stuff:
(1) 'Emergency health services' means medical and dental care for the civilian population in all of the specialties and adjunct therapeutic fields, and the planning, provision, and operation of first aid stations, hospitals, and clinics; preventive health services, including detection, identification, and control of communicable diseases, their vectors, and other public health hazards, inspection and control of purity and safety of food, drugs, and biologicals; vital statistics services, rehabilitation and related services for disabled survivors; preventive and curative care related to human exposure to hazardous agents (nuclear, biological and chemical); sanitary aspects of disposal of the dead; and food and milk sanitation.
and Aviation stuff:
(2) Emergency resource management of the National Aviation System, which is the physical complex of civil airmen, aircraft (including air carrier and general aviation aircraft) airports, airspace, airways and facilities and services, regulations, plans, standards, procedures and practices associated with the complex, for emergency management of the National Airspace System, and for control of civil and military air traffic, except as provided in Part 15 herein. In the performance of these responsibilities:
and Environmental stuff:
PART 15A--ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
'Section 1550. Resume of responsibilities. The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for diagnosis of quality problems and hazards in the environment which would impede the survival and recovery efforts of the nation and for developing coordinated Federal plans and fostering State and local plans designed to prevent or minimize the long-term ecological impact of hazardous agents introduced into the environment in an emergency situation, and to assist and coordinate with all primary resource agencies regarding plans to preserve the quality of a resource needed in an emergency.
And on and on and on. This EO is a massive expansion of previous EOs with amendments ad infinitum. Under a Republican Administration. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 12148 "created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. An “emergency czar” was appointed. FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies, the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic."

Under Jimmy Carter. Codified at Chapter44. Amended by EO's 12155, 12156, 12319, 12356, 12379, 12381, 12673.
3-101. There is hereby established the Emergency Management Council.
3-202. The Council shall provide guidance to the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the performance of functions vested in him.
I didn't read this. Very long, very boring and full of a zillion amendments or revocations of prior EOs that make it almost impossible to read anyway. Who knows what could be lurking there. Wear hip waders over body armor.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 12656 "appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S. citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United States and granted the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry. Many of the figures in the Iran-Contra scandal were part of this emergency contingent, including Marine Colonel Oliver North." 

Ronald Reagan. Another Republican. Codified at Chapter 44. For the first time an "emergency" is defined. Not that it's any help. It now just officially means whatever the hell they want it to mean.
Section 101. National Security Emergency Preparedness Policy.
(a) The policy of the United States is to have sufficient capabilities at all levels of government to meet essential defense and civilian needs during any national security emergency. A national security emergency is any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States. Policy for national security emergency preparedness shall be established by the President. Pursuant to the President's direction, the National Security Council shall be responsible for developing and administering such policy. All national security emergency preparedness activities shall be consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and with preservation of the constitutional government of the United States.
You can therefore thank Reagan for giving Obama more authority to do what he's doing. However, in his defense, the Order says:
(b) This Order does not apply to those natural disasters, technological emergencies, or other emergencies, the alleviation of which is normally the responsibility of individuals, the private sector, volunteer organizations, State and local governments, and Federal departments and agencies unless such situations also constitute a national security emergency.
(b) This Order does not constitute authority to implement the plans prepared pursuant to this Order. Plans so developed may be executed only in the event that authority for such execution is authorized by law.
So some burden is on Congress. This is an EXTREMELY long EO, and I only skimmed a few paragraphs.

The Valentine article doesn't list more recent events, like Bush's attempt to circumvent the Posse Comitatus statute, but here's an interesting teaser from Wiki on Martial Law for more digging.
Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122), was signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006, and allowed the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities.
Title V, Subtitle B, Part II, Section 525(a) of the JWDAA of 2007 reads "The [military] Secretary [of the Army, Navy or Air Force] concerned may order a member of a reserve component under the Secretary's jurisdiction to active duty...The training or duty ordered to be performed...may include...support of operations or missions undertaken by the member's unit at the request of the President or Secretary of Defense." The President signed the Defense Authorization Act of 2008 on January 13, 2008. However, Section 1068 in the enacted 2008 defense authorization bill (H.R. 4986: "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008") repealed this section of PL 109-364.
And that's not all she wrote.  See my more recent post, They Can Do Whatever They Want...

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