At the same time, the Supreme Constitutional Court sent out a clear signal that it would not bow to Morsi's wish, saying after an emergency meeting Monday that its June 14 ruling to invalidate the Islamist-dominated parliament was final.
"Morsi's move sets the stage for a potentially very serious political and constitutional crisis," said Michael W. Hanna, an expert on Egypt from the New York-based Century Foundation.
Morsi's spokesman, Yasser Ali, insisted the president's decision to reconvene the 508-seat chamber Tuesday was an "assertion of the popular will."
His presidential decree also calls for new parliamentary elections after a new constitution is adopted, something that is not expected before the end of the year - in effect according legitimacy to a legislature the country's highest court ruled to be invalid.
In its ruling last month, the court determined that a third of parliament's members were illegally elected under a law that allowed candidates from political parties to compete for seats that had been set aside for independents. Based on that verdict, the then-ruling military disbanded the house, in which Islamists controlled more than 70 percent of the seats.
In the days that followed, the generals pushed through a series of decrees that gave themselves legislative powers, as well as control over the drafting of a new constitution and the national budget. It also stripped Morsi of significant presidential powers.
The high court was to rule Tuesday - the same day parliament was set to reconvene - on three cases questioning the legality of the president's order.
The dispute over the fate of parliament has divided the nation just as Egyptians were looking forward to a semblance of stability after the tumult of the 17 months since the ouster of longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. Egypt has seen a dramatic surge in crime, deadly street protests, a faltering economy, and seemingly nonstop strikes, sit-ins, and demonstrations.
Some of the youth groups who engineered the uprising that toppled Mubarak sided with Morsi, viewing his move as an attempt to curtail the military's powers. Others saw it as another bid by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to pursue its own interests rather than the nation's.
"Morsi's decision is going to give us a huge problem," predicted Hesham el-Kashef, a 23-year-old lawyer and rights activist. "He is drowning us in legal problems and it is all for the sake of the Brotherhood."
Many liberal lawmakers said they would either boycott Tuesday's session or wait for the constitutional court's ruling on Morsi's decree before they decided.
"How can we go and attend in violation of a court ruling?" said Imad Gad, a liberal lawmaker. "There must be respect for the law and for state institutions."
Morsi also received harsh criticism from the country's judiciary.
Ahmed el-Zind, the head of the powerful association of judges, gave Morsi a 36-hour ultimatum to rescind his decision and offer an apology to judges or face what he called "harsher" options.
Parliament remained under police guard, though it was unlikely the security forces would try to prevent lawmakers from entering the central Cairo building Tuesday, unless the supreme court declares Morsi's decree unconstitutional before the session starts.