Chapter 14 Power Point - The Presidency in Action

C H A P T E R 14
The Presidency in Action
C H A P T E R 14
The Presidency in Action
The Growth of Presidential Power
The President’s Executive Powers
Diplomatic and Military Powers
Legislative and Judicial Powers
The Growth of Presidential Power
•Why is Article II of the Constitution
•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
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
• 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
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.
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
•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
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.
Legislative and Judicial Powers
•How are the President’s legislative powers an
important part of the system of checks and
•What are the President’s major judicial powers?
Legislative Powers
The Veto Power
•All legislation passed by Congress is sent to the President for
•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
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
•A pardon is legal forgiveness for a crime. (Ford pardoned
•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.
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