AP 101 - AP 101 Reading Questions: The American Presidency...

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AP 101 Reading Questions: The American Presidency 1. Article II of the Constitution vested the executive power in an independent, unitary President of the United States. Much of Article II is devoted to setting forth how the President will be selected. As opposed to Congress or the people selecting the President, the Constitution established the "electoral college" as an indirect means of electing the President thus making the executive only indirectly responsible to the electorate. Presidential independence of Congress was strengthened in the 19 th century as party conventions displaced the less democratic caucus system and nominations of presidential candidates became more democratized; the continued democratization of presidential selection with the eventual adoption of the system of primary elections in the 20 th century further enhanced presidential independence. Congressional power is, in part, a function of its capacity to effectively represent important groups and constituencies in society, but its position and power have suffered as presidents came increasingly to be seen as representatives of popular interests. In response to some slipping in its power vis-à-vis the presidency and particularly when divided government raises the political stakes of inter-branch conflict, Congress has reformed internal institutions and otherwise sought to compete better. 2. The president's expressed powers, as defined by Article II, Sections 2 and 3, include military, judicial, diplomatic, executive, and legislative powers. a.a) As "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States," the President possesses military powers and is head of the nation's security and intelligence agencies; these powers also include deploying troops to enforce federal decisions and declarations of "states of emergency." a.b) The president exercises judicial power when he grants pardons, reprieves and amnesty. a.c)As "head of state," the president has the diplomatic powers to make treaties (though their ratification requires Senate approval), receive ambassadors, and create executive agreements. a.d) The president also possesses executive powers that include the duty to see that all laws are faithfully executed and the power to appoint principal executive officers and federal judges (though this requires Senate approval); as chief executive, the president enjoys a power known as "executive privilege" which makes confidential the communications between the president and his advisers and adds to executive power. a.e)Charged by the Constitution with "giving to the Congress Information on the State of the Union" and the power to veto legislation, presidents also have powers in the legislative process; these legislative powers have transformed and expanded to include legislative initiative, the ability to bring a legislative agenda before Congress, and the issuance of executive orders that instruct the executive branch and often have
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 100 taught by Professor Payntor during the Fall '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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AP 101 - AP 101 Reading Questions: The American Presidency...

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