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Should Executive Agencies be Able to Make Regulations on Issues Like Mask Mandates?

40.2% yes
59.8% no

Recently, a federal judge struck down the federal mask mandate on planes and public transit that was created by the Center for Disease Control. Throughout much of the COVID-19 pandemic, many policy decisions were made by executive agencies like the CDC, which are all part of the executive branch. Outside of public health, these agencies make rules on topics ranging from agriculture to commerce to labor laws. This has led to questions around the efficacy and constitutionality of this form of governing. 

 Those who argue that executive agencies should make regulations contend that this form of governing is the most efficient and effective. They argue that agencies are run by experts in their field and are therefore able to make the best possible decisions without going through the slow process of Congress passing laws. They may also argue that as a part of the executive branch, the bureaucracy has a constitutional obligation to create policies in order to enforce laws. Additionally, they may argue that the bureaucracy is still accountable to the public since its top members are appointed by the president, an elected official. 

Those who argue that executive agencies should not make regulations contend that government by agencies is not conducive to a republican form of government. They claim that the people elect Congress to make laws, and since agencies are part of the executive branch it is an overreach of power for it to be involved in creating policy. They may argue that the slow deliberations of Congress is not problematic and is instead good since it prevents rash or oppressive policy. Additionally, they may argue that the agencies is not accountable to the people since they are not directly elected. 

So, what do you think? Should Executive Agencies be Able to Make Regulations on Issues Like Mask Mandates? Students can answer Yes, it should; No, it should not; or a nuanced answer in between!  

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:    

  • Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner   
  • Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers    
  • Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors    
  • They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner    
  • They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly 

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