Barack Obama told House Democrats on Tuesday that as president he would order his attorney general to scour White House executive orders and expunge any that "trample on liberty," several lawmakers said.I have said for years that I was wanting a President to go through all the executive orders issued by previous administrations and get rid of the ones that I disagreed with or wanted to change. Actually, to be more accurate, I feel that every last executive order should be nullified upon the leaving of the previous administration. There is no way feasible that the executive branch should be held to the standards laid down by a President from 30 years ago. Why should choices made by Jimmy Carter dictate how George W. Bush runs his administration? If an executive officer made the order, and executive officer can rescind the order.
Presidents, as head of the executive branch of government, issue such orders to direct operations of executive branch agencies, like the Justice Department and the CIA.
I have no problem with the chief executive officer making administration policy. I do have a problem with using executive orders in place of law. For instance, Bush's order on bass fishing regulation (cited in the article) is not something a POTUS should be deciding. Whether the CIA is allowed to perform certain sorts of operations, however, is within the jurisdiction of the head of the executive branch.
Of course I expect someone like Obama to only keep liberally bending orders in place, but he does have the concept of eliminating those orders that do not coincide with his goals and purposes.