8 Roles

8 Roles
State (Monarch in Britain)
1. Chief of State
2. Chief Citizen
Government (PM in Britain)
3. Chief Executive
4. Chief Administrator
5. Chief Diplomat
6. Commander in Chief
7. Chief Legislator
8. Chief of Party
Reasons for Expansion of Power: Imperial
Unity of the presidency
Presidential personality
Changing needs of the people (industrialization,
population growth, etc. larger bureaucracy)
Congress– delegated power to the President (lack
of time and knowledge and accountability)
“Bully pulpit”– use of mass media to garner support
for programs
National Security/ Foreign Policy (myth of
Secrecy (within White House and in bureaucracy)
Examples of Imperial Presidents
Andrew Jackson: Indian Removal; use of veto as political
weapon (myth of checks and balances)
FDR: New Deal Dictator, Court Packing
Lyndon Johnson: Lying about war
Richard Nixon: Impoundment, New York Times v. U.S.;
U.S. v. Nixon
Ronald Reagan: Iran-Contra (Dick Cheney: unitary
George Bush: Gitmo, Geneva Convention + torture,
signing statements, unitary executive theory, 2001
Presidential papers [Freedom of Information Act (50),
Presidential Records Act (12)]
Barack Obama: stimulus/bailout; state secrets/sovereign
Rule of Law or Men?
Jon Meacham, “The Editor’s Desk,” Newsweek, 25 April 2009, writing
about the debate over investigating Bush Admin, et.al. for torture policy
“The answer depends, at least in part, on how we turn back
the page. Is a Watergate- or Iran-contra-style congressional
probe the way to go? No, for public hearings encourage—
demand, really—dramatic plays for attention from
lawmakers. Such a stage would lead to the expression of
extreme views.
So we do not want that. Nor, I think, do we want to open
criminal investigations into those who participated in brutal
interrogation methods. And to pursue criminal charges
against officials at the highest levels—including the former
president and the former vice president—would set a terrible
precedent….That is not to say presidents and vice
presidents are always above the law; there could be
instances in which such a prosecution is appropriate, but
based on what we know, this is not such a case….”
Powers of the President
2.1 “The executive Power shall be vested
in a President of the United States of
America. …”
2.1.8: “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
Executing the Law
Latitude: execution requires interpretation
(Nixon + impounding controversy)
– Take care power executive’s necessary and
proper clause?
Ordinance Power: implied by Constitution,
given by statutes
– Executive Order: Directive, rule, or regulation
that has the effect of law (Internment: 9066,
Non-discrim: 8802, Integrate mil: 9981)
Appointment Power
2.2.2 w/advice + consent Senate
1) Ambassadors and diplomats
2) Cabinet members + top aides
3) Heads independent agencies
4) Federal judges, attorneys, US marshals
5) Officers armed forces
Removal Power
May remove those who he appoints
Pendleton and Hatch: Spoils System
– Department of Homeland Security
– US Attorneys scandal
Diplomatic and Military Powers
Executive agreement
Recognition: Taiwan, Israel
Commander in Chief (when called into active
War Powers Act (1973)
– 1) W/in 48 hours must notify, 2) Combat must end
w/in 60 days but can extend 30 days for safe
withdrawal, 3) Congress may end at any time
w/concurrent resolution
Legislative and Judicial Powers
2.3: “shall from time to time give to the Congress
Information on the State of the Union, and
recommend to their Consideration such
Measures as he shall judge necessary and
expedient…” (2.3)
Veto, line-item veto (unconstitutional)
– Signing statements
Special session, prorogue
Reprieve, pardon, clemency, amnesty,