Executive orders are directives issued by the president, including Presidential directives, National Security Directives, and Homeland Security Presidential Directives. Presidents have issued such orders since 1789. Such orders are open to the public, except for National Security Directives.
A very notable Presidential directive in our nation’s history was Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The U.S. Department of Labor provides the following summary of Executive Order 11246:
“The Executive Order prohibits federal contractors and federally‐assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. The Executive Order also requires Government contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment. Additionally, Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from, under certain circumstances, taking adverse employment actions against applicants and employees for asking about, discussing, or sharing information about their pay or the pay of their co‐workers.”
Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins (D-California), a civil rights champion in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963 – 1991, was a staunch advocate of equal employment opportunity laws. In reference to the anti-discrimination protections in Executive Order 11246 the congressman once remarked, “If you are going to stick your hand in the federal till, a little justice ought to stick to it.”
The following link contains the text of Executive Order 11246:
The use of executive orders by presidents has greatly increased in recent years as a result of the tendency of legislative bodies to leave details of laws they pass to be filled in by the executive branch.
Mark J. Molli, Associate Director
Center for Civic Education
What great information Mark. Thanks for sharing!