THEPOWER OF THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT
Theexpressed powers of the United Sates president are those that aredefined in the US Constitution.Article two of the constitution has an executive government branchthat consists of the president, vice president, and other executiveswho are appointed by the president. According to the first clause,"the president is vested with the executive powers. Thepresident is supposed to occupy the office for four years togetherwith the vice president whom they begin the term together."Clause 1 vests the powers in the executive and to the Congresswho have the mandate to make new laws and amend existing ones. Inherent powers of the United Statespresident are not contained or specified in the constitution butrequire the president to perform duties attached to his officeefficiently. The powers are not listed in the constitution becausearchitects of the constitution acknowledged that it was impossible tolist each and every power that would be required by any newly formedfederal government. Also, the president has delegated powers. Somedelegation of legislative powers is allowed by the United StatesSupreme Court.
Thecommander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of theUnited States is the most critical of the presidential powers. In theconstitution, the authority to declare war is vested in the Congress,but planning military strategy, directing the military and commandingthe military are powers vested inthe President.The Congressmust approve any deployment of the U.S. troops that are intended totake longer than 60 days. Through control of military regulation andspending, the Congressprovides a check on presidential military powers. For a long time,presidents have initiated warscriticsarguethat there have been more conflicts since many presidents did not getan officialdeclaration of war. Currently, the wars in Afghanistan since 2003 andIran since 2001 are authorized by the Congressand are called military engagements. The government is not atwar with the governments of these nations but with terroristnon-government groups.
Apartfrm the armed forces,the president directs the United States Foreign Policy. He has a dutyof protecting the American citizens abroad and immigrants in theUnited Statesthrough the Departmentof Defense and Department of State. The president of the UnitedStates decides whether or not to recognize a new government or anation. He also decides on whether to negotiate treaties with othernations.When two-thirds of the Senate approve through voting, the nationor the government under review becomes binding with the UnitedStates. 1
TheU.S constitution isdividedinto three branches. The president heads the federal governmentbranch,and he is obligated by the constitutionto make sure that laws arefaithfully executed.A president has the powers to remove executive officials at will, butCongress constrain and curtail the president’s authority to dismissindependent regulatory agencies and the subordinateexecutive officials by statute. To deal with growing federalbureaucracy, the president surroundshimself with many layers of executive staff.
Nominationof Supreme Courtand the courtof appeal members and federal judges of the United States is anotherpower yha is vested in the president. The nominations made by thepresidentrequire the Senate confirmation. When a president wants the federaljudiciary to have acertainideological stance,he may face a major obstacle insecuring Senate approval. The president is supposed to respect thelong-standing of the Senatorial Courtesy when nominating the U.Sdistrict court judges.
Theclause on Constitution’s Ineligibility bars the president frombeing a Congress member simultaneously. Thus, the president has noright to introduce legislative proposals to be considered by theCongress. However, the president may use an indirect role to shapethe legislation in cases where the president’s political party hasmajority members in both or either of the houses. For example,executive officials or the president may draftlegislationwhich may bepresentedby the president’s representative directly in the Congress. Also,the president can influence the legislative branch through periodicCongress reports. The reports may be delivered orally or in writing.Currently,the reports are given as the State of the Union address thathighlights the coming year president’s legislative proposals. 2
Thepresident has the powers to ask his cabinet members to forward theiropinions inthe form ofwritinghecan also vet laws, adjourn the Congress, appoint United Statesambassadors and grant pardons. Apart from expressed powers,the president has inherent powers that arenot specifiedin the United States Constitution.Despite the inherent powers not being specified inthe constitutionthey still fall under the president`s roles. Due to the reason thatthese powers arenot outlined,presidents have interpreted the powers differently over the years.During emergency times the president is granted powers to make ad hocdecisions. These powersare called emergency powers. Due to the three primary arms ofgovernment, the U.S canoperate a balanced government system where no arm of government hasmore powers than the other.
Theseare in the thirdcategory of the United States presidential powers. These powers areinterpreted by individualpresidents depending ontheir capabilities as head of the government. Some of the powersincluded in this category are war and emergency powers that come toforce during nationalwars and disasters. For example, Abraham Lincoln suspended severalcivil liberties during the civil war. Writ of the habeas corpus wassuspended.The writ protects people from being imprisoned without facing a trailfor them to be determined guilty or not. Also, the powers allow thepresident to receive ambassadors, appoint and negotiate treaties. In1793, the president of the United States George Washington declaredthat U.S would remain neutral in the warbetween Great Britain and France. Also, thepresidentsignsexecutive agreements with other governments which do not requiresenate`s approval.3Thesupreme court ruled that theagreementssigned between U.S and other countries are within inherentpresidential powers.
Thepresident has authority under executive privilege where the UnitedStates Presidentdecides when information cannot bereleasedto the courts or the Congress. The executive privilege isbasedon powers separation, the need to protect military and diplomaticsecrets and to ensure that people around the president arefeltto give candid advice. In most cases,many presidentshave evoked the executive privilege such as Bill Clinton during thescandal of Monica Lewinsky and George Bush during the firing ofattorneys regularly.
Sincethe president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, he hasthe power to send American soldiers into combat without having toconsult with the Congress,for example during the Vietnam War. The War Powers Act of 1973,requires the president to have the congressionalauthority and the Congresscan decide on the continued deployment of the troops after a periodof 60 days.
Apresident is allowed to respond to crisis situations by the inherentpowers. During the reign of Abraham Lincoln as the US president, heresponded to the civil war, and George W. Bushresponded to the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11,2001. The legislature has the power to limit the decisions andactions of a president based on the inherent powers. Also,the supreme court can render the actions taken by the president underthese powers unconstitutional.
Theseare powers granted by the Congress to the United States president toenable himtocarry out the constitutional duties. Delegated powers of thepresident combined with constitutional powers results in expressedpowers of the United Statespresident. 4TheUnited States Constitutionoutlines all the delegted powers. The Congress can exercise powersthat are granted by the constitution to subject restrictions in thebill of rights. Some of the duties includethepowerto collect and lay taxes, excises and impose duties and provide acommon general welfare and defense to the UnitedStates. But the law requires all duties to be uniform throughout thecountry. Other powers include the power to declare war, borrow moneyon credit of the United States, grant letters of reprisal and marque,make laws that regard capture of water and land.
Presidentialduties assumed recently
TheUnited States president is expected to carry out several duties aspart of his office. The constitution has outlined the president`sduties,but some of them have evolved with time. The president interprets thedutiesdepending onhis personality and how he views the presidency. The contemporarypresidentsof the United States are approaching their job from a leadershipperspective. Presidentsconsider themselves as people’s representatives who areplacedin that position to pursue certainpolitical agenda through the use of inherent powers. Most scholarsprefer presidentswho use such a model to run the government since they leave behind astrong mark on the United States government. Presidentsdiffersignificantlyon the role of federal government some believe the primaryduty of the federal government is to help the disadvantaged in thesociety, such as Lyndon Johnson. He created programs to eradicatepoverty, war and improve healthcare.
Thenewduty assumed by the president is that of being amoralleader.Many expect the president to set a moral tone for the nation such asintegrity, exemplary honesty,and religious faith. The media has recently scrutinized the privatelives of the elected presidents.Also, in the public opinion polls regarding the president’sperformance and the character issue are included.
Apartfrom the president performing the government functions, he alsoserves as a party leader. The president is expected to campaign forother candidates inhis/her party,assist in raising party money and support the party’s platform.According to recent research, party loyalty is declining. In manycases, someconflicts existbetween party leaders and national leaders. A president may findit hard to build consensus on a nonpartisan issue that requiressupport from both sides.
Thepresident is not directly involved in making legislations,but he has a role inensuring that they become laws. The president meets withcongressional members to ask for their vote to pass bills.Thus,the White House maintains close contact with Congress. In cases wherethe government is divided, the president may directly requestpeople`ssupport in passing bills.
Reasonsfor increasing the presidential powers
Thepresidential mandate and priileges have expanded with time. Sinceinception,the powers of the president haveincreasedeven within the constitutional structure irrespective of the partycontrolling the White House.Some of the reasons arebecause the executive powers are highly concentrated on one head,and his choices affect the whole nation, thus making him the hope ofthe public. Other reasons are to make the ruling party more powerfuland enable the partytogather more campaign money. Also, the president is granted morepowers so as to act effectively during war times especially terrorismand national disasters.
Thepowersof the United States president come from the Constitutionor Congressional enactments. Express powers areclearly outlinedin the constitutionarewell interpreted.Inherent powers are not particularized in the constitution,and the president interprets them depending onhis personality or the situation.5During war or national disasters, the president is expected toexercise these inherent powers depending onthe situation. Thiskindof powerswhichthe president invokes in emergency times is referredto as emergency powers. The presidential powers have continued toexpand due to the changes experienced in the United States and othercountries. A president cannot make laws by himself,but he has a duty to oversee the legislation process.
Fisher,Louis. Presidentialwar power.University Press of Kansas, 2013.
Ikenberr,G. John. "Illusion of Geopolitics: The Enduring Power of theLiberal Order, The." Foreign Aff. 93 (2014).
Lampton,David M. "A new type of major-power relationship: seeking adurable foundation for US-China ties." Asia Policy 16, no. 1(2013).
Liang,Jessica. "TheInherent Jurisdiction and Inherent Powers of International CriminalCourts and Tribunals." NewCriminal Law Review: In International and Interdisciplinary Journal 15,no. 3
Stalebrink,Odd J., and Velda Frisco. "Federal performance budgeting and theUS system of separation of powers: an examination of the programassessment rating tool." International Journal of Public SectorPerformance Management 2, no. 3 (2015).
Stephenson,Matthew C. "Can the President Appoint Principal ExecutiveOfficers Without a Senate Confirmation Vote?." YaleLJ 122(2013): 940-2694.
1 Stalebrink, Odd J., and Velda Frisco. "Federal performance budgeting and the US system of separation of powers: an examination of the program assessment rating tool." International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management 2, no. 3 (2015)
2 Fisher, Louis. Presidential war power. University Press of Kansas, 2013.
3 Lampton, David M. "A new type of major-power relationship: seeking a durable foundation for US-China ties." Asia Policy 16, no. 1 (2013).
4 Stephenson, Matthew C. "Can the President Appoint Principal Executive Officers Without a Senate Confirmation Vote?." Yale LJ 122 (2013): 940-2694.
5 Liang, Jessica. "The Inherent Jurisdiction and Inherent Powers of International Criminal Courts and Tribunals." New Criminal Law Review: In International and Interdisciplinary Journal 15, no. 3 (2012): 375-413