C H A P T E R 14 The Presidency in Action C H A P T E R 14 The Presidency in Action SECTION 1 The Growth of Presidential Power SECTION 2 The President’s Executive Powers SECTION 3 Diplomatic and Military Powers SECTION 4 Legislative and Judicial Powers SECTION 1 The Growth of Presidential Power •Why is Article II of the Constitution controversial? •How have Presidents’ own views affected the power of the office? Article II • Article II, the Constitution’s Executive Article, begins this way: • “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” – Article II, Section I Called “the most loosely drawn chapter” in the Constitution. Much controversy in U.S. history is based on executive power. Why Presidential Power has grown? • 1. Unified branch. Invested in one person. Not shared with others – Congress must answer to 535 members and two houses. • 2. Need for immediate and decisive action in times of crisis (welfare, employment, civil rights, war.) Presidents ability to act in those times has increased power of the executive. • 3. The Prez has the ability to attract public attention through mass media, the public, and their own party and use this to support their actions. • 4. Congress passes the laws and has little time or technical knowledge to carry out the laws. This power rests with the executive. Thus, as Congress’s power has grown, so has the power of the President. Bush responds to September 11 attacks Limits on Presidential Power • Though the President of the United States is considered to hold the “most powerful job in the world,” this power is limited. • Remember, the framers created a Constitution based on limited government. • The President lives in a world of checks and balances, and, at times the Supreme Court and Congress have limited his powers. (G.W. Bush’s use of military tribunals, Truman’s steel mills in Korean War) Section 1 Review 1. The Executive Article of the Constitution is (a) Article I. (b) Article II. (c) Article IV. (d) Article V. SECTION 2 The President’s Executive Powers •Where does the President get the power to execute federal laws? •How does the appointing power work? •How has the debate over the removal power evolved? “The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them.” – Thomas Jefferson Executing the Law As chief executive, the President executes (enforces, administers, carries out) the provisions of federal laws. This power reses on 2 brief Constitutional provisions: “… I will faithfully execute the Office of President…” “… He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The President’s power to execute the law covers all federal laws. Their number and the different subject matters are immense (armed forces, social security, gun control, minimum wage, environmental protection, air traffic safety, immigration, taxes, etc.) Executing the Law Congress sets out the basic policies and standards. The specific details, much of the fine print necessary to actually administer the law, is up to the executive branch. For example: • Immigration laws require that all immigrants seeking permanent admission the the U.S. must be able to “read and understand some dialect or language.” How well must an immigrant be able to read and write? What words must he/she know? How many? - It is up to the executive branch, specifically U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. The Ordinance Power • The President has the power to issue executive orders. An executive order is a directive, rule, or regulation that has the effect of law. The power to issue these orders, the ordinance power, arises from two sources: the Constitution and acts of Congress. • In order to exercise the powers given to the President in the Constitution, “laws be faithfully executed,” the President must have the power to issue the necessary orders, as well as the power to implement them. • Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies. Sometimes, Congress cannot agree exactly how to implement a law or program. This leaves the decision to the federal agencies involved and the President that stands at their head. When Congress fails to spell out in detail how a law is to be executed, it leaves the door open for the President to provide those details in the form of Executive Orders. If Congress does not like what the executive branch is doing, it can amend the law, but the Prez. can veto it. Congress can override with 2/3 vote. • Wars have been fought upon executive orders, desegregation of public schools, internment of Japanese Americans under FDR. The Appointment Power Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 says with Senate consent, the President can name most top-ranking officers of the Federal Government, including: • (1) ambassadors and other diplomats; • (2) Cabinet members and their top aides (Vice Prez); • (3) Heads of agencies like Homeland Security • (4) all federal judges • (5) all officers in the armed forces. John Kerry is Secretary of State The Removal Power •In general, the President may remove any appointees except federal judges (in for life) Secretary of Defense? Secretary of Homeland Security? Speaker of the House? Can Obama remove the Speaker of the House? John Boehner Could Obama remove Secretary of State, John Kerry? Section 2 Review 2. Which of the following government officials is not appointed by the President? (a) Supreme Court justices (b) Cabinet members and their top aides (c) Speaker of the House (d) ambassadors and other diplomats SECTION 3 Diplomatic and Military Powers •How are treaties made and approved? •What powers does the President have in the role of commander in chief? The Power to Make Treaties •A treaty is a formal agreement between two or more sovereign states (US and China). •The President, usually through the secretary of state, negotiates these international agreements. •All treaties must pass approval by a 2/3 of the members present vote in the Senate. Commander in Chief •The Constitution makes the President the “commander in chief of the nation’s armed forces.” - Has almost unlimited military powers. Making Undeclared War •Many Presidents have used the armed forces abroad without a declaration of war (Congress has not declared war since WWII). •Many Presidents have used the armed forces abroad, in combat, without Congress declaring war. Johnson sent troops to Vietnam but there was no Declaration of War. Bush was given authority to send troops to Iraq but no Declaration of War. COMMANDER IN CHIEF The War Powers Resolution •The War Powers Resolution of 1973 limits the Presidents war powers. Grew out of anger over Vietnam war. Nixon vetoed the law, Congress overrode veto with 2/3. The WPR does 2 things: •1. President must report use of military to Congress within 48 hours detailing reasons for use and plans. •2. Combat must end within 60 days, unless Congress certifies a longer period. May extend 30 days for safe troop withdrawal. Section 3 Review 1. A treaty is (a) the power to build a navy and other armed forces. (b) a formal agreement between two or more sovereign states. (c) recognition of a foreign government by the President. (d) a condemnation of a foreign government by the American people. 2. When acting as head of the nation’s armed forces, the President is filling the role of (a) commander in chief. (b) chief legislator. (c) head elector. (d) president pro tempore. SECTION 4 Legislative and Judicial Powers •How are the President’s legislative powers an important part of the system of checks and balances? •What are the President’s major judicial powers? Legislative Powers The Veto Power •All legislation passed by Congress is sent to the President for approval. •If the President disapproves of a bill, he can veto it. That veto can only be overturned by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress (2/3 override is tough to get so the Prez has tremendous power). •Nixon vetoed the War Powers Resolution. Congress overrode veto with a 2/3 vote in both houses. Judicial Powers •The Constitution gives the President the power to “...grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” —Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 •A reprieve is the postponement of the execution of a sentence. •A pardon is legal forgiveness for a crime. (Ford pardoned Nixon) •These powers of clemency – mercy or leniency – may only be used in cases involving federal offenses. Some governors have the power at the State level. President pardons turkey on Thanksgiving – part of tradition. Judicial power • The pardoning power also includes the power of commutation – the power to commute (reduce) the length of a sentence or a fine imposed by a court. • Also included is the power of amnesty, in effect a blanket pardon offered to a group of law violators. In 1977, Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to Vietnam War draft evaders. Men burning draft cards Section 4 Review 1. A presidential veto of legislation can only be overturned by a (a) two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. (b) two-thirds vote in the Senate. (c) two-thirds vote in the House. (d) three-fifths vote in both houses of Congress. 2. Reprieves and pardons are both examples of the President’s (a) appointment power. (b) wartime powers. (c) ordinance power. (d) clemency power.