Executive Orders: The Good, the Bad, and the Constitution – D01

The President’s Track

Session D: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

While the U.S. Constitution does not define executive orders, presidential memoranda, or proclamations. Article II vest executive power in the President and provides that he or she “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Every president since Washington has issued executive orders. President Lincoln relied on this power to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and suspend habeas corpus. President Roosevelt established internment camps for Japanese Americans through executive order 9066. President Truman used the power of the executive order to desegregate the armed forces. While President Eisenhower used executive orders to put the Arkansas National Guard under Federal court and to enforce the desegregation in Little Rock.

Critics have accused presidents of “legislating” by executive order when Congress does not act or does not act as the president wishes. Use of this power by recent Presidents merits a reexamination of the use of this Executive power.

You will learn

  • The history of executive orders
  • The constitutional basis, scope, and limitations for this Presidential authority
  • How to challenge executive orders


Jonathan M. Shapiro, Shapiro Law Office LLC, Middletown

Attorney Shapiro joined Shapiro Law Offices as a partner in 2010. His practice concentrates on corporate transactions, employment matters, and complex commercial and general litigation, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.   He represents individuals and businesses in a wide variety of matters including breach of contract actions, non-compete claims, unfair trade practice claims, trade secret misappropriation claims, commercial lease disputes, employment and insurance coverage disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and product liability claims.  Jonathan also regularly serves as “local counsel” for non-Connecticut-based firms that are admitted to practice pro hac vice.  Jonathan also counsels clients in a number of other areas including employment law, contract negotiations, commercial transactions and business formation.

Jonathan is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York, as well as before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut. He was recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and was honored by the Fairfield County Business Journal at the 2011 40-Under-40 Awards Dinner. In November 2012, Jonathan was named as a “New Leader in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune.  In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Jonathan was recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer.




Anna Cabot, University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford

Attorney Cabot is the William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic where law students represent refugees who have fled from persecution and are seeking asylum in the United States.  (Her full name is Jessica Anna Cabot, but the “Jessica” is silent.)  Professor Cabot comes to clinical teaching from a background in immigration and human rights practice.  Prior to joining the UConn faculty, she was the Managing Attorney at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, where she represented numerous asylum-seekers before the immigration courts and handled a wide range of other immigration matters, while supervising and training attorneys, paralegals, student law clerks, and volunteers.  Responding to a wide-ranging problem, she did a study of the challenges faced by Mexican asylum-seekers for the Center for Migration Studies.

Before moving to the border, Professor Cabot spent a year in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania as Legal Services Coordinator for Asylum Access, where she assessed the legal needs of the urban refugee population, designed a legal services program, and advocated for individual clients. She also did a year-long litigation fellowship with the ACLU’s National Prison Project.

Professor Cabot earned her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. During law school she participated in AU’s International Human Rights Law Clinic, representing individuals in before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and other international fora. She also served as research assistant for the Chair of the U.N. Committee Against Torture.

Though currently a lawyer and a teacher, Professor Cabot has a dark secret past in science. After graduating from Amherst College with a physics degree, she did a Fulbright in India, conducting research in theoretical particle physics. 


Sudha Setty, Associate Dean of Faculty Development & Intellectual Life and Professor of Law, Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, MA

Attorney Setty is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development & Intellectual Life and a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law, in Springfield, MA.  She teaches Law and Terrorism, Comparative Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Business Organizations, and Contracts.  She was awarded Western New England’s Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in both 2009 and 2016, was recognized in 2015 as a Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, and received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association.

Her scholarly work focuses on comparative analysis of separation of powers, rule of law and national security issues.  Professor Setty’s recently completed book, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.  Her other recent scholarship has appeared in numerous books and journals, including the Chicago-Kent Law Review, Stanford Journal of International Law, and American Journal of Comparative Law, and she is the editor of the 2014 book, Constitutions, Security and the Rule of Law.  She currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.  Professor Setty has been quoted in stories about national security law in the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, the Christian Science Monitor and numerous other national and local media outlets.  She was a Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2011 and a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in 2014. 

Prior to joining the faculty of Western New England, Professor Setty was a litigator with the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on antitrust and securities regulation matters.  She served as defense counsel in civil, regulatory and criminal matters involving national security issues, including terrorism financing investigations and lawsuits, and a pro bono matter challenging sentencing guidelines for those convicted of terrorist acts.   Her pro bono practice also included litigating federal civil rights cases, working on state constitutional challenges to immigration-related ballot initiatives, and the mentoring of New York City high school students.  Professor Setty graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia Law School and received her A.B. in History (concentration in comparative civil rights) with honors from Stanford University.
CLE Credit: 1.5 Hours