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Glossary definition: Executive Order

Executive Order: Presidential Directive

An executive order is a directive issued by the President of the United States with the force of law. It is issued in order to direct members of the executive branch of the federal government to take certain actions or comply with certain regulatory standards. Executive orders have the full force of law and are binding on the executive branch, though they are subject to judicial review. Executive orders are used to direct federal agencies and officials to implement policy decisions that have been made by the President, and they are often used to bypass the legislative process and circumvent congressional opposition. Executive orders are also used to establish national priorities, allocate resources, and set standards for federal agencies to follow. Executive orders are not laws passed by Congress, but they are nevertheless legally binding on the executive branch.