Executive Order vs Executive Action

Executive Order vs Executive Action

Knowing what makes them different can help you fine-tune your advocacy initiatives

CARE Action advocates are a group of individuals who educate themselves to take action the most effective way possible. Even the most seasoned advocate can find the terminologies unclear and asking what the difference is between an Executive Order and an Executive Action.

Executive Order

Executive orders are formally published in the Federal Register and are recorded along with other executive regulations. They carry the same weight and power of enforcements as a law. Executive orders can compel action by government officials and private citizens.

Executive Action

In contrast, executive actions do not carry this same weight. They are merely internal directives to the executive branch; they are likely to be recorded for the public record as a matter of executive intent and interpretation, but are not formally published. Executive agencies are strongly encouraged (effectively, required) to follow any enforcement guidelines given in executive actions but these are only actors inside the government. Executive actions are internal policy positions and do not compel action by those outside of the government. For this reason, the executive branch may use executive actions to make it more difficult for non-governmental parties to establish standing in court and challenge the action.

Power in Knowing

Understanding how our government works makes your efforts as an advocate more effective. Take action wisely.

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