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Limits on Presidential Power


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Limits on Presidential Power

  1. 1. Limits to the President’s Power
  2. 2. Pre Class: What Keeps a President from Becoming A President Dictator? Dictators“I’m not a dictator. I’m the President.” - March 1, 2013
  3. 3. Formal Checks on the Prez’s Power
  4. 4. FORMAL Checks on Presidential Power0 Found in Article I – CONGRESS has the power to: 0 Make laws 0 Impeach 0 Override Presidential veto 0 Declare war 0 Power of the purse – SPEND the govt’s $$$$$0 Found in Article II (Executive Branch) 0 Senate approves appointments 0 Senate approves Treaties 0 President must deliver a State of the Union
  5. 5. FORMAL Checks on Presidential Power0 Found in Article III 0 Judicial review – can declare executive actions unconstitutional 0 Chief Justice of Supreme Court presides over Presidential impeachment trial
  6. 6. Constitutional Amendments Limiting Presidential Power: 0 12th – Choosing President & Vice-President on separate ballots 0 20th – “lame duck”; moved up date of Presidential inauguration 0 22nd – Presidential term limits (2 terms; 10 years total) 0 25th – Presidential disability and succession 0 Pres. or VP & majority of cabinet informs Congress of Pres. Disability 0 VP, Speaker, President pro tempore of Senate, Secretary of State
  7. 7. Informal Checks on the Prez’s Power
  8. 8. Public Opinion0 The ultimate check of public opinion is at the ballot box. Informally, White House staffs and independent news agencies poll Americans regarding the President’s job performance, stand on issues, etc. which often forces presidents to change course in policy.
  9. 9. The MediaThe press influence publicopinion by choosing whatstories to cover, reporting thefacts, and expressingopinions.
  10. 10. Partisan Politics0 The opposition party scrutinizes and criticizes the policies and decisions of a president and his administration.
  11. 11. Essential QuestionShould the President be able to wage war without Congress’ approval?
  12. 12. Congress Fights Back: War Powers Resolution (1973)• President can send troops into action when authorized by Congress or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”• Prez must notify Congress within 48 hours of troops to military action• Troops cannot be committed more than 60 days, with a further 30 day Nixon VETOED. It passed anyway because Congress used its 2/3rds withdrawal period, without an override. authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.
  13. 13. Obama and Congress Fight over LibyaThe Congress shall have power ... To declare war. Article I, Section 8 The president shall becommander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. Article II, Section 2
  14. 14. Did the War Powers Actlegalize war? Or effectively prevent it?
  15. 15. American Experience: Richard Nixon0 Mr. Nixon’s War0 Anti-War Protests