The Executive Branch
be at least 35 years old
-Lived in the United States at least 14 years
-Term of office - 4 years
40 400,000 annual salary
50 50,000 expense account
total benefit package of the President would exceed the net amount of 15 million dollars.
Amendments concerning the Presidency
12th Amendment - Established the President and the
Vice- President as a single ballot.
In the Presidential election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr received the same amount of electoral
votes, even though they represented the same party and it was acknowledged that Jefferson
was the Presidential candidate and Burr the Vice- Presidential candidate.
*House of Representatives decides if a majority of electoral
votes is not
20th Amendment- The Lame-duck Amendment moving the
Presidents term from beginning on March 4, to Jan 20.
22nd Amendment- 2 term, 10 year maximum in office.
25th Amendment- Presidential
Speaker of the House
President of the Senate
Secretary of State
If the office of the Vice-President is vacant, the President
shall appoint and Congress shall approve
(1) to preside over the Senate
(2) to succeed if necessary
He sits on the Security Council and continuously supports the President.
He keeps himself ready, just in case
VP is not always a factor and sometimes at odds with the President
EG. Andrew Jackson and John Calhoun
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
John F. Kennedy and
Lyndon B. Johnson
The Electoral College - The means of choosing the American
The Framers felt that the common man wasn't qualified enough to elect a president. They feared special interest and partisanship.
a) protection against the tyranny of the majority
keep standards voting high
c) not totally in the hands of the states
however, the voice of the states
We are a Republic,
In a system of Federalism
Presidential electors, who cast their votes in a Federal Election,
are chosen by State Legislatures
Major defects of the
Winner take all theory, even if the vote is close in a specific state
2) Not casting proper vote
In a 3 party race, a candidate with a small percentage of the popular vote could be elected if he has support in the
House of Representatives
Electoral votes be cast by existing Congressional District.
Awarding the proper percentage to each candidate
(They would still have to cast their ballots on election day)
reinforces 1 man, 1 vote
Problem: Amending process
Has to pass through state legislatures ¾= 37 states
Maine and Nebraska
Each district has an elector and the state has 2 others over-all
Duties and Responsibilities
* To enforce the Law;
* To make Treaties;
* To make foreign policy;
* To approve of,
or veto acts of Congress;
* To send or receive diplomats;
* To grant pardons or amnesty.
Question - How do we define
the scope of his power?
Answer - We don't!
Strong presidents use their
executive power to shape their office
George Washington - Leadership; Cabinet; Farewell
(By virtue of his office)
Derived or inferred from specific powers in the Constitution
Thomas Jefferson - Promoting equality; Louisiana Purchase
- Jacksonian Democracy
Common Man; Initiating Legislation
- Strong Leadership;
exercising executive power when regulating public opinion, and as commander-in-chief
Ex Parte Milligan
Theodore Roosevelt - thought the
office of the American President could do anything not specifically restricted
by the Constitution. (Stewardship)
Franklin Roosevelt - The only 4 term President, used
his office while attempting to solve the problems of the American economy
Lyndon B. Johnson - A most skilled politician using
his influence to pass his programs and strengthen his powers (Gulf
Richard M. Nixon - The Imperial President. Attempted to control inflation through a price freeze. A powerful
foreign affairs President
Ronald R. Reagan - Strong and unwavering in foreign
affairs. Less government control; deregulation
of the President (EOP)
US Trade Representative
The White House Office
400 people who work for the President. Lawyers,
doctors, Press Secretary.
*Also a special staff for the First Lady)
located in the White House and the adjacent executive offices
All Headed by
the Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff
(reporting directly to the President)
Ad hoc Structure
Special Groups and specific advisers report to
National Security Council
Chief of Staff
Secretary of State,
Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA,
Chair of the Joint Chiefs.
Office of Policy and Development
Domestic Affairs- headed by the Assistant to the President for Development
Office of Management and Budget
Each Federal agency must present their Budget for the coming year. Each Dept Head must defend his plan at hearings. Final draft is revised , added or slashed and fitted into the
President's over all plan.
Plan Revision Approval
The OMB gives the President:
a) close control over budget
b) an agency that will monitor congressional spending
c) information that will help check Congress.
President can veto any inconsistent spending.
Congress Budget Office counters
Council of Economic Advisers
Group that advises the President on the Economy by watching for trends and Indicators
Council on Environmental Quality
Office of US Trade Representative
Represents President in Foreign Trade negotiations
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Science and technological advances
Office of Drug Control Policy
Office of Administration
Clerical work for all agencies
The President's Cabinet
An informal advisory body aiding the President.
Mr. George Washington)*
The President picks each head with confirmation of the Senate.
EG. Washington chose
- Sec. of State
- Sec. of Treasury
- Sec. of War
- Attorney General
*Naturally, each person has a special expertise in the area of his Dept.
Appointees are loyal, but not always from the same Political Party
They serve as:
a) Heads of their departments
b) Advisers to the President
Almost always approved of by Congress, hence the President's pick capable people
Some Presidents rely heavily on their Cabinet members - Ronald Reagan
Others did not
-Andrew Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet
-JFK and his brother Bobby
Secretary of State
The Powers of the President
The Framers of the Constitution had to decide
which direction the Executive Office should take.
1) An institution to carry out the will of Congress.
2) A separate single Executive independent of Congress with its own field of Powers.
* The vast power of the Executive Branch is concentrated in
* He is one person, easy to identify with and can be called
How does the President increase his power?
Congress has passed laws to strengthen the presidency
* FDR received extra power to help lead us out of the Great Depression
A President's influence and charisma may enable him to expand his executive power.
* T.R. "President is a steward- do everything
within the power of the Constitution and expand beyond if necessary"
The president is limited by specific grants of power found in the
- the President is the head of the Department, described by the Constitution in Article
The President has to enforce and carry out law because
1) his oath of office
2) the constitution commands so
Congress may pass a law in broad terms. The responsibility of interpretation falls upon the President.
Eg. Literacy Tests
Congress passes the laws;
President sets the requirements
- he presides over the huge executive department.
3 million people are subordinate to the President
-He has the power to issue executive orders which have the
effect of law.
Eg. -A wage and price freeze.
He has the Power of Appointment (with the advise and consent
of the Senate)
He has the Power of Removal - he can remove any appointed official
except Federal Judges.
Tenure of Office Act-
Andrew Johnson's Impeachment
Meyers v US (1926) - Wilson's removal of Frank Meyers viewed Constitutional
v US (1935)- FDR
removed his FTC because of political reasons. He died. His heirs sued for back salary and were successful. The SC
cited the FTC as
quasi judicial" in character.
- The Power to make Treaties. He is responsible for foreign policy. He sends and receives ambassadors for the American People.
Formal Agreements- require 2/3 Senatorial Approval. (joint resolutions can override the defeat)
Executive Agreement- Informal Agreement can be made without
Congressional approval. Eg
-Jimmy Carter's Camp David Accords
-Ronald Reagan at Reykjavik
Power of Recognition
An inherent power of the president
-a very important tool. Truman recognized Israel
minutes after their Declaration of Independence.
Recall of an Ambassador is a sharp negative statement, usually leading to war. Persona-non-grata.
He is the leader
of his Political Party.
He will carry out his party's platform (might be a coalition candidate)
of the American Government
- The President is the civilian head of the military
*Truman's decision to drop the Atomic Bomb in 1945
*Truman fired the American Caesar in 1953 (MacArthur)
*LBJ upgraded US Forces in South
Vietnam in 1965
*Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia
*Reagan and Beirut
*Bush - Persian
*Clinton in Bosnia 1995
*Bush and Afghanistan
No. Vietnamese fired
upon US Gunboat
of Tonkin Resolution
in 1964 gave the President complete authority and approval of Congress to send troops anywhere in the world
to protect American interests.
***War Powers Act (1973) Restrictions
-When committing American troops abroad, the President must notify Congress within 48 hours
-He is permitted to do so for 60 days with
a 30 day option - 90 days
-He would then need Congress's approval for that option
During wartime, the
President's power greatly expands with the military and at home. Gas rationing,
wage control, operation of private business for war production.
He can request the state's to activate their militia
- The President
sets the overall shape of the Congressional Agenda by suggesting, initiating, supporting, requesting and demanding that Congress
enact most legislation on its agenda.
His State of the Union address contains his budget plans, economic report.
Congress acts accordingly.
The President can
1) sign a bill into law
2) veto a bill
3) exercise pocket veto
A Presidential Veto or threat of a veto effects law.
Line item veto - passed by Congress in 1997. President
could now veto certain parts of a bill. (8years)
- cannot veto existing programs
Congress can override by 2/3 vote
(Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional)
(Clinton v NYC
If Congress cannot agree upon an adjournment date, he can prorogue
or adjourn Congress.
The President has special
He can reprieve(postpone) a sentence.
This power is absolute and used in federal offenses.
2) He has the power to Pardon (the legal forgiveness of a crime). Accepting the pardon is an acceptance of guilt after a trial.
(not with Nixon)
*Pardons can be conditional
*He can commute(reduce) a sentence
*He can issue a blanket pardon over a group. This is called
Watergate - A Case Study