The framework of the United States Constitution created a government in which the powers were intentionally divided into three branches of government: Legislature, Executive, and Judicial. It was thought that each branch would check the power of the other institutions. By separating the power, the framers wanted to improve the effectiveness of the government. Each of the three branches has its designated responsibilities. The executive branch is responsible for faithfully executing the law and the president is the head of the division. In the Constitution Article II Section I, it states, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This is the oath taken by each U.S. President before he enters into office. In order to accomplish this constitutional charge, the president must be able to order agencies to take action on his authority.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower used his executive power to issue an executive order, Executive Order 10730, allowing him to enforce mandated federal court decisions. The Executive Order 10730 authorized the president to send the National Guard to assist in the desegregation of schools, specifically Central High School, in Little Rock, Arkansas (Pohlmann and Whisenhunt 157). This essay will discuss the importance of this document to the history of the nation. Why was its impact a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement? The very idea of desegregation would become forefront in the minds of the American people and stronger efforts began to end the “separate but equal” (157) status of all African Americans.
Even though the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the Constitution were supposed to end racial segregation, injustices were still being implemented especially in the Southern states. In a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, the court ruled that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional. The court based its decision on the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which applies the standard of equality to the actions of the states as well as the Federal government (Brown v. Board of Education). Over 100 Southern members of the United States Congress protested the ruling and the supplemental ruling a year later that the desecration of all schools must proceed as quickly as possible (Pohlmann and Whisenhunt 157, 158).
One school district within the state of Arkansas ignored three separate court orders requiring the speedy implementation of desegregation. They challenged that it would be better to slowly make changes to the educational system. The first step in their plan would take place on September 3, 1957. Nine African American students would integrate into the all white Central High School in Little Rock. A letter-writing campaign began to the governor, Orval Faubus, stating that...