Drug Lords, Mafiosos, and PacNet? How the Controversial Payment Processor Ended Up on the Naughty List


The sanctions placed on PacNet are controversial, and because the designation rests on the back of an Executive Order, it can be altered. Executive Orders, while subject to judicial review, can bypass Congress, and usually deal with the enforcement of laws and policies. No congressional body has to approve an executive order, and it cannot overturn it. The only thing Congress can do is pass a law to cut funding for that order. A sitting president, however, could veto such a law, making it incredibly difficult for the legislature to overturn an Executive Order.

There are a few examples of the Judicial Branch intervening and overturning executive orders. In 1952, President Truman issued an Executive Order to prevent strikes during the Korean War by placing the US steel mills under federal law. The Supreme Court argued that the order was not valid because it wasn’t clarifying a law, rather, it was trying to make a new one. The only other Executive Order that was successfully overturned by the Judicial Branch was an order by Bill Clinton in 1995. Clinton’s order attempted to prevent the federal government from contracting with organizations that hire replacements for striking workers. The US Court of Appeals said that the Order was regulatory in nature and was superseded by the National Labor Relations Act.