Originally Posted by patteeu
This isn't true. An executive order is a directive to the executive branch from the President about how to carry out the powers authorized by either Congress or the Constitution. At times, such as this one, there are questions about whether such orders are actually in compliance with the law, but it's certainly not a part of the definition. The most usual case where an executive order appears to conflict with a law passed by Congress is when the POTUS believes that Congress has improperly imposed upon his Constitutional powers.
Historically that's what it is.
In modern history, the executive order has been used extensively to skirt around Congress.