Formal Powers - Central Kitsap High School

Extra credit: this image illustrates what vocab term . . . That could be
used to discuss incumbency advantages
A member’s facsimile signature, which is used on envelopes in lieu of
stamps, for the member’s official outgoing mail. The “franking privilege”
is the right to send mail postage-free
Head of State AND Head of Government
_________ of ___________: titular leader of the country who
represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but
may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the
__________ of _______________ top administrative leader
who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the
, in the UK, the __________ is the head of state, and the
_________ ________is the head of government. In the US,
the president is both the chief of state and the head of
government. Cabinet includes the official name for this body
of high-ranking advisers and the method for selection
Try a google image search on head of state vs head of government
Female Heads of State and
Indirect Democracy
Modern Flourishes at Obamas’ State
WASHINGTON —Nov 24 2009 It is an old tradition, a White House
dinner governed by ritual and protocol that happens to be this city’s
hottest social event. But at their first state dinner on Tuesday night,
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made sure to infuse the
glittering gala with distinctive touches.
President Obama and his
wife, Michelle, hosted their
first state dinner for their
guests of honor, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh
and his wife, Gursharan
Kaur, on Tuesday night. The
Obamas greeted their
guests at the White House.
Gursharan Kaur, the first lady of India, Michelle Obama, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh of India, and President Obama arrived for the state Dinner
Mrs. Obama made a splash by showcasing deep, rich colors -- apple green for the tablecloths
and varying shades of plum, purple and fuchsia in the hydrangea, roses and sweet peas in the
centerpieces. A member of the staff prepared an example of a table setting.
Last but not least, the dinner plates were an eclectic mix of Clinton and Bush China. For
Mr. Obama, it was a rare break from the bruising business of governance, allowing him
to showcase his role as a world leader and gracious host
They hired a new florist, Laura Dowling, who bedecked the tented outdoor dining
room with locally grown, sustainably harvested magnolia branches and ivy.
Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit was the guest chef.
The meatless menu included a mix of Indian and American favorites, including some
African-American standards. Collard greens and curried prawns, chickpeas and okra,
nan and cornbread were served to the 320 guests. A member of the kitchen staff left
the kitchen with a representative dish from the dinner.
Presidents vs Prime Ministers
•Both Democratic
•Parliamentary 2X as common
•Fused vs Separated powers
•Guaranteed majority
•Insider vs outsider
•Cohesive vs independent members
•Fixed vs variable terms
•Ability to dissolve leg
•Question hour for PM and other members of
•Cabinets members are MPs and have
“collective responsibility”
•Removal of chief exec impeach vs Vote of
Role of individual legislators in legislating
• different emphasis of systems:
Parliamentary model emphasizes efficient
policy delivery and the ability of a gov't to
deliver on its promises—versus
Congressional model: deliberations and
checks on power
We have a system that tries to make it hard for a President to get
things done
It purposefully creates conflict by separating powers, checks and balances. It
gives different constituencies and staggers terms of elections so that it is hard
to gain excessive power for any given length of
It gives sketchy powers to president—compare article II to article I
“I sit here all day, trying to persuade people to do
the things they ought to have the sense enough to
do without my persuading them ……… That’s all the
powers of the President amount to”
President Harry S Truman
In a lot of ways PM is stronger-- but ultimately he
depends on (is accountable to the ) legislature in a
way that President does not
Another reason the Pres can not
be a dictator: Rule of Law
“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
_________________of the United States.”
See: am is not a
THE PRESIDENT: “Formal Powers”
“Expressed Powers”
State of the Union Address, Jan 31, 2006
President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin
delegated versus expressed powers:
Delegated powers are those powers generally granted to the president (or
Congress) by the people through the Constitution. Delegated includes both
expressed (formal) and implied powers.
Expressed powers are those powers specifically stated in the Constitution. The
President has the expressed power to appoint ambassadors and make treaties (with
the consent of the Senate), thus also delegating him the implied power to formulate
and take the lead on foreign policy. The Constitution does not specifically state the
president can commit troops to hostile actions overseas; however, it has been
implied under his duty expressly stated as commander in chief.
Formal and Informal powers of the President
Domestic Policy and Foreign Policy
Formal or informal?
Veto Power: Article I, Section VII
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the
Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the
United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it,
with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who
shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to
reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall
agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the
other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved
by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases
the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the
Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on
the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned
by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have
been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he
had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its
Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law
Obama Signs Equal-Pay Legislation
President Obama signed his first bill into law on Thursday,
approving the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law named for
Ms. Ledbetter, fourth from left, an Alabama woman who at
the end of a 19-year career as a supervisor in a tire factory
complained that she had been paid less than men.
What did the Supreme Court say and why? What are you
going to do about it?
Government by Veto
mere threat can often influence changes because it takes 2/3 vote of EACH house to
override--only 4% ever overridden . . But it is a blunt and reactive (not proactive) tool
Formal or informal?
The power to appoint: 2 types
First . . the president has the power to appoint whom?
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and
all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise
provided for, and which shall be established by Law
Subject of course to the _______ and ________ of the __________
The New 5-to-4 Supreme Court
4/22/2007 AFTER the 5-to-4 decision last week in which the Supreme Court reversed course on abortion,
upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, many court watchers were wondering what to expect
For guidance, law professors and Supreme Court specialists looked to lists of 5-to-4 cases in which Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired last year, had been the swing vote. One list, compiled by Martin S.
Lederman at Georgetown University, had 31 entries, with cases on religion and race, elections and crime,
medicine and free speech.
Last week’s abortion decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, demonstrated the court’s new math. With the
justice who took the O’Connor seat, Samuel A. Alito, in the majority, and the new swing justice,
Anthony M. Kennedy, writing the decision, the court upheld, by a single vote, the abortion act.
Just seven years ago, Justice O’Connor voted with the court’s liberals to strike down a similar Nebraska law
banning the procedure, known medically as intact dilation and extraction. It involves removing an intact fetus
rather than dismembering the fetus in the uterus. The decision recast the court’s approach to abortion, shifting
its emphasis toward fetal life and away from deference to medical judgments about women’s health.
The decision last week brought into focus the greatest hopes of conservatives and the worst fears of
Article ______, section2, clause 2 says: The
President shall have power to fill up all
vacancies that may happen during the recess
of the Senate, by granting commissions
which shall expire at the end of their next
See article about pending su ct case
Why would a president
facing a Senate of his
same party ever resort to
a recess appt?
Rand Paul Leads
Filibuster of Brennan
Senator Rand Paul held the floor of the
Senate in a bid to prevent a vote on the
nomination of John O. Brennan to be Central
Intelligence Agency Director on Wednesday.
Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, began an old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more filibuste
on Wednesday just before noon, and was still going strong hours later.
Mr. Paul, who opposes the nomination of John O. Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, had
previously said he would filibuster President Obama’s nominee after receiving a letter this month from Attorne
General Eric H. Holder Jr. that refused to rule out the use of drone strikes within the United States in
“extraordinary circumstances” like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.On Wednesday, Mr. Paul did exactly as
promised, taking to the Senate floor to filibuster Mr. Brennan’s nomination.
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the C.I.A.,” Mr. Paul began. “I will speak unt
I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our
Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a
drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a
Filibusetr explained you tube
Rand Paul ends filibuster
Can you go to the bathroom?
The power to _______________the laws
Article _______, Section 1: The
executive Power shall be vested in a
President of the United States of
"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 States."
October 18, 2009
New Medical Marijuana Policy Issued
Filed at 11:59 p.m. ET Oct 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration will not seek to
arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to
state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The
Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of
their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict
compliance with state laws.
The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration,
which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws
regardless of state codes.
Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and
Obama pardons turkey Nov 2009
The _______ power of the federal government is vested in the president.
With the ________ and ___________ of the Senate, the president has the power to appoint
a__________, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the ________ Court, and all other
Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and
which shall be established by Law
The president may recommend to _____________such legislative measures as he believes are
necessary and he may (subject to 2/3rds of both Houses of Congress overriding his decision)
veto bills emerging from Congress. (Article I)
The president has the power to make __________with other nations with the advice and
consent of 2/3rds of the Senate.
The president is ___________ in ________of the armed forces.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the ________of
the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
The president can grant reprieves and _______(except in the case of impeachment).
He is bound by the laws of the land and he can be removed from office for treason, bribery or
other high crimes and misdemeanours
Informal sources of presidential power
Garnering public support:
• “govern by campaigning”
• Advantage of unity of office/bully pulpit/symbolism of head of state
• Honeymoon period
• “Mandate” from an election (Bush’s “political capital”)
• Crisis
•Good economy
• More power in Foreign affairs
President Bush with Tillman
Shiplett, 8 months, at Charleston
Air Force Base in South Carolina.
President Bush greeted supporters at a rally in Grand Island, Neb.
NYT Nov 6, 2006
President Obama held a prime-time news conference on
health care reform
The US Constitution gives much of the foreign policy decision-making to the presidency,
but the Senate has a role in ratifying treaties, and the Supreme Court interprets treaties
when cases are presented to it.
an official (esp. the president) in the final
period of office, after the election of a
successor. . . . The term is often used to
describe sitting presidents who have served two
terms, and have entered their last year
Presidential Coattails and Midterm Loss
So . . . When it comes to making law . . . . The president can’t
“The Constitution also authorizes the president to “recommend to [Congress's]
Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Unlike
the veto, which is a limited and somewhat negative instrument for stopping
legislation, the duty to recommend legislation has over time become the primary
mechanism by which chief executives influence the nation's political agenda.
Given the presidency's relatively weak array of formal devices for mandating
government policy, no other facet of the office today is as critical to presidential
success or failure. The ability to shape the agenda of government—to decide
what is or is not a priority—is in essence the power to influence what
government will or will not do”
Sources of power implicit in the job
of Chief Executive (so they are
________ powers)
Executive orders
Executive privilege
Executive agreements
Signing statements?
More areas of expanded exec authority
Executive Privilege
Defined: The claim that confidential
communications between a
president and his close advisors
should not be revealed without
the consent of the president.
Not in constitution-based on
principles of Separation of
powers and idea that effective
statesmanship makes it
Sup. Court upheld idea—but limited in U.S v. Nixon –pres. are entitled to exec. Priv. Most of
the time (and especially for national security), but not in criminal cases.
More areas of expanded exec authority
The president's refusal to spend what Congress has appropriated
In past, Nixon especially did for policy objectives in civil rights area.
Congress tried to prevent with:
the Congressional Budget Control
and Impoundment Act
More areas of expanded exec authority
Signing Statements
RAY SUAREZ: The president's veto of a stem-cell research bill last week was the first of his presidency.
But more often than other presidents, George W. Bush has claimed the constitutional authority to ignore,
reject, or interpret bills after signing them into law. He's done so by issuing "signing statements" with
many of the bills he's signed. Last December, when President Bush signed a bill outlawing the torture of
military-held detainees, the attached signing statement left open his prerogative to ignore that restriction.
The president wrote, "The executive branch shall construe the act in a matter consistent with the
constitutional authority of the president as commander in chief, which will assist in achieving the shared
objective of the Congress and the president of protecting the American people from further terrorist
attacks.“ PBS July 24,2006
Bush Declares Exceptions to Sections of Two Bills He Signed
Into Law
October 15, 2008
WASHINGTON — President Bush asserted on Tuesday that he had the executive power to bypass several parts of two bills:
a military authorization act and a measure giving inspectors general greater independence from White House control.
Mr. Bush signed the two measures into law. But he then issued a so-called signing statement in which he instructed the
executive branch to view parts of each as unconstitutional constraints on presidential power.
In the authorization bill, Mr. Bush challenged four sections. One forbid the money from being used “to exercise United States
control of the oil resources of Iraq”; another required negotiations for an agreement by which Iraq would share some of the
costs of the American military operations there.
The sections “purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional
obligations,” including as commander in chief, Mr. Bush wrote.
In the other bill, he raised concerns about two sections that strengthen legal protections against political interference with the
internal watchdog officials at each executive agency.
One section gives the inspectors general a right to counsels who report directly to them. But Mr. Bush wrote in his signing
statement that such lawyers would be bound to follow the legal interpretations of the politically appointed counsels at each
The other section requires the White House to tell Congress what each inspector general said about the administration’s
budget proposal for their offices. Such a requirement, Mr. Bush wrote, would infringe on “the president’s constitutional
authority” to decide what to recommend to Congress. Mr. Bush will not submit another budget request before his
administration ends in January, so his objections are unlikely to face a test on his watch. Still, the bill’s sponsor,
Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee, said he hoped that the next president would overturn Mr. Bush’s signing
“These things create uncertainty in the law that should not be there,” Mr. Cooper said.
The White House has defended Mr. Bush’s use of signing statements as lawful and appropriate. But in 2006, the American
Bar Association called the device “contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers.”
Mr. Bush has used the signing statements to assert a right to bypass more than 1,100 sections of laws. By comparison, all
previous presidents combined challenged about 600 sections of bills.
After approving the bill President Bush issued a signing statement: an official document in which
a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.
In it Bush said:
"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a
manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary
executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on
the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the
President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."
Bush signing statement on
prohibition of torture
March 10, 2009
Obama Looks to Limit Impact of Tactic Bush Used to
Sidestep New Laws
WASHINGTON — Calling into question the legitimacy of all the signing statements that
former President George W. Bush used to challenge new laws, President Obama ordered
executive officials on Monday to consult with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before
relying on any of them to bypass a statute.
But Mr. Obama also signaled that he intended to use signing statements himself if Congress
sent him legislation with provisions he decided were unconstitutional. He promised to take a
modest approach when using the statements, legal documents issued by a president the day he
signs bills into law that instruct executive officials how to put the statutes into effect. But Mr.
Obama said there was a role for the practice if used appropriately. “In exercising my
responsibility to determine whether a provision of an enrolled bill is unconstitutional, I will act
with caution and restraint, based only on interpretations of the Constitution that are wellfounded,” Mr. Obama wrote in a memorandum to the heads of all departments and agencies in
the executive branch.
Mr. Bush’s use of signing statements led to fierce controversy. He frequently used them to
declare that provisions in the bills he was signing were unconstitutional constraints on
executive power, and that the laws did not need to be enforced or obeyed as written. The laws
he challenged included a ban on torture and requirements that Congress be given detailed
reports about how the Justice Department was using the counterterrorism powers in the USA
Patriot Act.
Since the 19th century, presidents have occasionally signed a bill while declaring that one or
more provisions were unconstitutional. The practice became more frequent with the Reagan
administration, but it initially drew little attention.
That changed under Mr. Bush, who broke all records, using signing statements to challenge
about 1,200 sections of bills over his eight years in office, about twice the number challenged
by all previous presidents combined, according to data compiled by Christopher Kelley, a
political science professor at Miami University in Ohio.
Many of Mr. Bush’s challenges were based on an expansive view of the president’s power, as
commander in chief, to take actions he believes necessary, regardless of what Congress says in
The American Bar Association declared that such signing statements were “contrary to the rule
of law and our constitutional separation of powers,” and called on Mr. Bush and future
presidents to stop using them and to return to a system of either signing a bill and then
enforcing all of it, or vetoing the bill and giving Congress a chance to override that veto.
The Bush administration defended its use of signing statements as lawful and appropriate. And
other legal scholars, while critical of Mr. Bush’s use of the device, said the bar association’s
view was too extreme, because Congress sometimes passed important legislation that had minor
constitutional flaws. They said it would be impractical to expect a president to veto the entire
bill in such instances.
March 12, 2009
Obama Says He Can Ignore Some Parts of Spending Bill
One of the budget bill’s provisions that Mr. Obama said he could circumvent concerns United
Nations peacekeeping missions. It says money may not be spent on any such mission if it entails
putting United States troops under a foreign commander, unless Mr. Obama’s military advisers so
“This provision,” Mr. Obama wrote, “raises constitutional concerns by constraining my choice of
particular persons to perform specific command functions in military missions, by conditioning the
exercise of my authority as commander in chief on the recommendations of subordinates within the
military chain of command, and by constraining my diplomatic negotiating authority.”
He also raised concerns about a section that establishes whistle-blower protections for federal
employees who give information to Congress.
“I do not interpret this provision,” he wrote, “to detract from my authority to direct the heads of
executive departments to supervise, control and correct employees’ communications with the
Congress in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that
is properly privileged or otherwise confidential.”
In addition, the president singled out four areas of the bill that direct negotiations with other
countries on certain matters, and three that issue directions about what agencies should include in
budget requests.
But a majority of the challenged provisions are those allowing money to be reallocated to a
different program only with the approval of a Congressional committee. Mr. Obama called the
provisions “impermissible forms of legislative aggrandizement” and declared that while executivebranch officials would notify lawmakers of any reallocation, “spending decisions shall not be
treated as dependent on the approval of Congressional committees.”
More areas of expanded exec authority
Government by ________ ___________
An order from the President, as Chief Executive, to a federal agency or agencies to
authorize or prohibit a specified action. An executive order may be a simple, routine
exercise of authority, or it may be a far-reaching policy that challenges congressional
control of policy.
Criticized as “presidential lawmaking”
Can be straight forward . . . Or controversial
On July 25, 2003, in celebration of the 13th anniversary of the Americans
with Disabilities Act, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order
12994, continuing the work of the Committee, but renaming it the
President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).
(From the President's Committee on Mental Retardation”
2002: Executive order to ensure faith based charity
groups get funding: First, in a few minutes -- you'll be
happy to hear -- (laughter) -- I am going to sign an
executive order directing all federal agencies to follow
the principle of equal treatment in rewarding social
service grants
Presidential Law making?
Obama Issues Directives on Detainees,
Interrogation, Guantanamo
President Obama on Thursday issued at
least three executive orders and one
presidential directive relating to national
security and one abortion policy order, all
reversals of Bush administration policy.
President Obama caps his pen after he signed an
executive order closing the prison at
Guantanamo Bay, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, in the
Oval Office of the White House.
the administration in the afternoon issued a reversal of
a ban on federal funding for non-governmental
organizations working outside the U.S. that offer
abortions or abortion counseling. Obama signed the
executive order on the 36th anniversary of the landmark
Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion
in all 50 states
Formal Powers of the President:
2004 question
Domestic Policy
Legislative powers (recommend, veto, pocket veto, signing legislation).
State of the Union address
Appointment power (to a domestic office).
Calling Congress into session.
•Execute the law (“faithfully execute the law” clause).
• Commander-in-chief role (must connect it to domestic policy in order to
earn the point).
[The President] may require the Opinion, in writing, of the
principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any
subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices.
Without saying so directly, the Constitution created the Cabinet with
those words. Note, however, that the Constitution does not go into what
the executive departments will be, how many there will be, or what their
duties should be.
Since cabinet members are usually department heads, they are appointed by the
President and confirmed by the Senate. Other than confirmation, there are no
legal or constitutional requirements for the job. They serve at the whim of the
President. They may, however, be impeached as any federal officer may be. Unlike in
many other countries, members of the cabinet are not members of the legislature. In
fact, the Constitution prohibits any member of the Congress from being an officer of
the government.
Typically, the cabinet meets on a regular basis, such as weekly. However, because the
cabinet is not a legal institution, meetings can be at any interval. In fact, the cabinet
may not necessarily ever meet at all. In fact, there need not even be a cabinet. Some
have questioned the need for a cabinet, and some modern presidents made little use of
them. Since the subject matter apropos to any department varies so widely with that
of the others, discussions can break down into turf wars. Former cabinet member
Zbigniew Brzezinski told of using the time to catch up on newspapers and magazines.
So what role does the cabinet play? It is a place of support for the President and his
policies, and the press play the cabinet up as a big source for consensus and
discussion in any government. Probably closer to the truth is that the President meets
with those cabinet officers whose departments have authority over the crisis of the
day, and the whole cabinet is just a useful way to refer to all the people that make it
up.—there is no notion of _____________ responsibility as seen in the British system.
President Obama’s Cabinet
The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15
executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce,
Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services,
Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior,
Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well
as the Attorney General.
To see them, go to: h
Order of Presidential Succession
The Presidential Succession Act of
1947, signed by President Harry
Truman, changed the order again to
what it is today. The cabinet members
are ordered in the line of succession
according to the date their offices were
Prior to the ratification of the 25th
Amendment in 1967, there was no
provision for filling a vacancy in the
vice presidency. When a president died
in office, the vice president succeeded
him, and the vice presidency then
remained vacant. The first vice
president to take office under the new
procedure was Gerald Ford, who was
nominated by Nixon on Oct. 12, 1973,
and confirmed by Congress the
following Dec. 6.
NOTE: An official cannot succeed to the Presidency unless that person meets the Constitutional requirements.1. The president pro tempore presides over the
Senate when the vice president is absent. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate, but by tradition the position is held by the senior member of the
majority party.2. Pending confirmation.
Whom does the President really rely on to
get things done? ?
“Shrouded in anonymity, protected by
executive privilege, but with no legal or
constitutional authority of their own, the
5,900 people in 125 offices collectively
known as the White House Staff assist the
chief executive by shaping, focusing and
amplifying presidential policy.
Winning four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, creator Aaron
Sorkin's powerful political epic chronicles the triumphs and travails of White House senior
staff under the administration of President Josiah Bartlet.
President Bush's chief of staff Andrew Card, left, senior advisor
Karl Rove, center, and press secretary Scott McClellan, right, leave
the White House on Tuesday, April 20, 2004.
AP Photo/Ron Edmonds
Why prefer WH Staff?
• They don't have to be confirmed by senate
• Officials are less subject to testifying before Congress since they have a greater degree of
executive privilege protection
• Presidents seek people to be loyal (compare to cabinet where picked for other reasons)--so
less divided loyalties
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking employee of the
White House Office inside the Executive Office of the President of the
United States. The position began as the Assistant to the President in 1946
and acquired its current name in 1961.
The current White House Chief of Staff is Denis McDonough, who assumed
the position on January 25, 2013, after Jack Lew resigned in order to accept
appointment as Secretary of the Treasury.
Leo McGarry
September 11, 2001. Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispers the news to President Bush in Sarasota, Florida.
Age and Citizenship requirements
- US Constitution, Article II, Section 1
No person except a ________ _______citizen, or a citizen of the United
States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to
the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office
who shall not have attained to the age of _______-______years, and
been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
Term limit amendment - US Constitution, Amendment_________,
Section 1 – ratified February 27, 1951
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than
_____and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as
President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person
was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more
than once.
Judge tosses lawsuit challenging Obama citizenship
Saturday, October 25, 2008
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's qualifications to be
U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick on Friday night rejected the suit by attorney Philip J.
Berg, who alleged that Obama was not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency.
Berg claimed that Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or became a citizen of
Indonesia after he moved there as a boy.
Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father. His parents divorced
and his mother married an Indonesian man.
Internet-fueled conspiracy theories question whether Obama is a "natural-born citizen" as
required by the Constitution for a presidential candidate and whether he lost his citizenship
while living abroad.
Surrick ruled that Berg lacked standing to bring the case, saying any harm from an allegedly
ineligible candidate was "too vague and its effects too attenuated to confer standing on any and
all voters."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
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Imperial Congress vs. Imperial Presidency
SO who “Dominates” in the relation between C and the P
The framers thought that Congress would . .
“In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The
remedy for this inconvenience is to divide the legislature… [And] the executive…
should be fortified.”
James Madison
The Federalist, Number 51
. . . But . . .
Thesis for the imperial presidency: Since 1972, the
presidency has become an imperial institution, which
threatens the delicate balance of the Constitution. The
President was able to rule by decree without limitation
by the Congress or Courts." --Arthur Schlesingerr Jr.
FLIP SIDES President Diocletian and Emperor Bush? No, but
Roman parallels are a perennial temptation
Areas of Increased Presidential Powers
In War . . . constitutional conflict: President: commander in chief so –he can
order troops about: Haiti, Grenada, etc versus Congress: “power to tax and
spend” and it declares war
Examples: Vietnam War (LBJ gets Congress to issue the Gulf of Tonkin
Resolution) Nixon’s "secret" war in Cambodia, Carter aiding Iran, Regan and
Grenada, Clinton’s troops in Haiti
Cold War in general gave President lots of power
And of course. . . .
Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq
Whereas blah balh balh wmds blah balh WMDs blah balh balh]
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled,
(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States
as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;
and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.
Areas of Increased Presidential Powers in war cont . . . .
USA Patriot Act gives expanded powers to executive branch
Secret wiretapping
Military tribunals (by executive order)
More areas of expanded exec authority
Diplomacy by Executive Agreement rather than treaties
Defined: “deals” between the Pres. and the head of another nation which has the
force of a treaty but does not require Senate's "advise and Consent" (2/3)
Example: America's involvement in Vietnam in part because of secret agreements
between the US president and South Vietnam in 50s and 60s
There are limits because Congress has the power of the ________and the Case
Amendment passed in 1972 requires that the president inform Congress of any
executive agreement within 60 days of it being passed
Other ways Congress can assert itself:
Legislation in general can become more specific: this lets them take credit for
goodies AND it takes away discretion from Executive Branch
Confirmation of presidential employees: increase number which need
confirmation --140 in 1969--310 now and abandon deference
Increasing oversight: Watergate, Iran Contra, Independent Council, torture, hold
more hearings; issue more supoenas
Use of legislative veto: Congress grants the president the authority to act, but
reserves the right to reject his actions. Sp. Ct. held unconstitutional, (INS v.
Chadha) but Congress still passes laws with leg. veto and the president signs
Power of purse: funding in Iraq
It helps if President’s popularity ratings go down
More likely to be assertive if ________ govt
Overall, vetoes were rare events – only about 2% of all enactments were vetoed.
However, among very important enactments during divided party government,
the veto rate was as high as 20%. Overall, Congress attempted to over-ride about
half of the post-war regular vetoes. (Recall that the Constitution allows the
president to “pocket veto” legislation passed in the closing days of a Congress;
pocket-vetoes cannot be over-ridden. So-called “regular” vetoes (non-pocket
vetoes) can be over-ridden by a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of
Congress.) Notably, Congress attempted to over-ride about 80% of regular
vetoes of consequential legislation during divided party government. The
success rate on over-ride attempts was about 45%.
It’s a system o f
SHARED powers really
Mr. Gonzales, with his mother,
Maria, his son Graham and Mr.
Bush, as Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor swore
him into office
1. Presidents are generally thought to have
advantages over Congress in conducting foreign
policy because of the formal and informal powers
of the presidency.
a. Identify two formal constitutional powers of the
President in making foreign policy.
b. Identify two formal constitutional powers of Congress
in making foreign policy.
c. Identify two informal powers of the President that
contribute to the President’s advantage over congress
in conducting foreign policy.
d. Explain how each of the informal powers identified in
c. contributes to the President’s advantage over
Congress in conducting foreign policy.
Part a: (2 points) 1 for each of the two identifications
Acceptable identifications of explicit, formal constitutional powers of the
President may include
• Commander in chief, power to commit troops
• Appointment of ambassadors and foreign policy officials
• Negotiate/ make treaties
• Recognition of nations
• Receive ambassadors and make other public ministers
Part b: (2 points) 1 point for each of two identifications
Acceptable identifications of explicit, formal constitutional powers of
Congress may include
• Confirm ambassadors
• Power of purse in military/ foreign policy matters
• Declare war
• Pass laws/ resolutions re: foreign policy issues
• Regulate foreign commerce (including free trade agreements)
• Ratify treaties
Part c: (2 points) 1 for each of the two identifications
Acceptable identifications of informal powers may include
• Executive agreements
• Access to media/ bully pulpit/ morale building
• Agenda setting
• Meet with world leaders
• Crisis manager
• International coalition building
• Recognized as global leader
• President has access to more information , knowledge, or expertise than
does congress
Part b: (2 points) 1 point for each of two explanations
Response must show how or why the identified power gives the President
advantages over Congress. Acceptable explanations of the President’s
advantages over Congress may include:
• Persuade congress: negotiate, offer support, threats, etc.
• Persuade the public: on foreign policy process/ issues
• Ability to circumvent he formal process.
Senator Strom Thurmond, left, swears in
Chief Justice Rehnquist to preside during
the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999.
NYT 9/4/05
House Votes to Issue Contempt
Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, at lectern, led
Republicans out of the House in protest
The power as Chief executive to write ______________
EVERY president comes into office complaining about the 11th-hour judicial appointments
and midnight regulations left on the White House doorstep by his predecessor. And every
president turns around and does the same to his successor.
Adams did it to Jefferson. Teddy Roosevelt did it to Taft. Carter did it to Reagan. Bush I did it
to Clinton. Clinton really did it to Bush II.
With Congress in Democratic hands and his political capital all but spent by the Iraq war, Mr.
Bush has scant hope of pushing significant domestic legislation through Congress. But he still
controls the executive branch and can still accomplish much through regulation and
executive edict.
Mr. Clinton found himself in much the same position in 1999, after surviving an
impeachment trial but still facing a hostile Republican Congress. He put his minions to work
scouring the federal rule books looking for ways to leave his imprint.
That led to a flurry of last-minute rule making that included declaring nearly 60 million acres
of national forests off limits to logging and road building, significantly tightening the
standards for arsenic in drinking water, increasing energy efficiency of appliances, reducing
tolerance for lead in paint and soil and setting new rules for privacy of medical records.
“Starting in early 1999 we had people down in the White House basement with word
processors and legal pads making lists of things we wanted to get done before we left,” said
John Podesta, the White House chief of staff from late 1998 through the end of Mr. Clinton’s
“They’ve probably got people down there right now with chain saws and drilling rigs doing
the same thing,” he added with a laugh. “I’m sure they’re going to want to have some impact
as they walk out the door.”
Democrats Look for Ways to Undo Late Bush Administration
Rules January 12, 2009
WASHINGTON — Democrats are hoping to roll back a series of regulations
issued late in the Bush administration that weaken environmental protections
and other restrictions.
Potential targets include regulations allowing concealed weapons in some
national parks and forbidding medical facilities that get federal money from
discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse, on religious grounds,
to assist with abortions.
“Congress is going to have to roll up its sleeves and review these midnight
regulations,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said in an interview,
“because it’s clear that they are part of a desire for the administration, as it
heads out the door, to put some ideological trophies on the wall.”
How Does Congress try to assert itself?
Specific Acts
War Powers Act of 1973 : Requires presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible
prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares
war or grants an extension; At any time Congress could pass concurrent resolution which
could not be vetoed ending American involvement
Budget Control and Impoundment Act 1974 Which gave Congress more control over the
budget by establishing a budget calendar, a budget committee and the CBO. It also said
presidents must spend money
Case Amendment: must submit executive agreements to us
Ethics in Govt Act of 1978- indep. Council
Why all this stuff in the in the 70’s: Watergate, Pentagon Papers, Vietnam, Nixon
impounding funds, FECA means less coattails and patronage down, Rise of new
groups like civil rights, anti-war, environment, consumer turn to courts and
Congress—fall of old groups like organized labor, heavy industry and urban political
machines which had been linked to President
•A more recent example: McCain Amendment to 2006 Department of Defense
Appropriations Bill (2005) prohibits torture
Note two things—first it was a rider—offered by senators . . . And second, it is one of the
things Bush used a signing statement for

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