“Let’s start with Friday’s Executive Order:
“Section 101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the ‘Act’).
“Sec. 102. Policy. The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.
“Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?” asks Morrissey. “ This actually matches the language in Executive Order 12919, however, even the part about ‘in peacetime.’ Note what this Executive Order specifically orders: identify, assess, be prepared, improve, foster cooperation.
“ None of these items claim authority to seize private property and place them at the personal disposal of Obama.”
The order says the President can invoke the powers of this order to “meet national defense requirements” in “the full spectrum of emergencies.”
Presidents have issued similar orders in the name of national defense. For example, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and the rights to an impartial trial as protected by the Sixth Amendment.
President Lincoln visits the troops
During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson, frustrated with Congress’s reluctance to grant him power over natural resources, invoked an executive order to assume absolute and unilateral authority over the same range of resources.
So, yes, it sounds pretty alarming.
But the White House says it’s just clarifying the status quo – so America can be ready in case of emergency.