What Are Executive Orders Anyway? | JSTOR Daily


An executive order is a “presidential directive that requires or authorizes some action within the executive branch.” These orders have the force of law. Every president has signed such orders except for William Henry Harrison, who only served for 32 days. President Obama, much criticized by his opponents for the practice, issued 279, compared with George W. Bush’s 291, Bill Clinton’s 308, and Ronald Reagan’s 381.