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How does the Constitution give the executive branch a role in the law?

Article II, Section 2 provides that the president can nominate individuals to the courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Article II, Section 3 provides that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Article I, Section 7—the section that describes Congress' lawmaking powers—also explains that the president has the power to veto (deny) legislation.

What are the powers of the president?

The president, as the "Commander in Chief," can grant pardons, make treaties, appoint ministers and consuls, justices of the Supreme Court, and "all other Officers of the United States." The president also can fill vacancies that occur in the Senate by granting commissions. The president has the power to carry and enforce the laws

LegalSpeak: Clinton v. City of New York (1997)

The Line Item Veto Act authorizes the president himself to effect the repeal of laws, for his own policy reasons, without observing the procedures set out in Article I, Section 7. The fact that Congress intended such a result is of no moment. Although Congress presumably anticipated that the president might cancel some of the items in the Balanced Budget Act and in the Taxpayer Relief Act, Congress cannot alter the procedures set out in Article I, Section 7, without amending the Constitution.

Neither are we persuaded by the Government's contention that the president's authority to cancel new direct spending and tax benefit items is no greater than his traditional authority to decline to spend appropriated funds. The Government has reviewed in some detail the series of statutes in which Congress has given the Executive broad discretion over the expenditure of appropriated funds. For example, the First Congress appropriated "sum[s] not exceeding" specified amounts to be spent on various Government operations.... In those statutes, as in later years, the president was given wide discretion with respect to both the amounts to be spent and how the money would be allocated among different functions. It is argued that the Line Item Veto Act merely confers comparable discretionary authority over the expenditure of appropriated funds. The critical difference between this statute and all of its predecessors, however, is that unlike any of them, this Act gives the president the unilateral power to change the text of duly enacted statutes. None of the Act's predecessors could even arguably have been construed to authorize such a change..

If there is to be a new procedure in which the president will play a different role in determining the final text of what may "become a law," such change must come not by legislation but through the amendment procedures set forth in Article V of the Constitution.

made by Congress, has the power to veto or reject laws passed by Congress, and can issue executive orders that have the force of law.

What are some famous executive orders in American history?

Perhaps the most famous of all executive orders was the first numbered one issued by President Abraham Lincoln, the country's sixteenth president, in 1863—the Emancipation Proclamation (Executive Order #1). An example of a famous—or infamous— executive order was Executive Order 9066—which called for the removal of Japanese-American citizens during the time of World War II into internment camps. Another

U.S. President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln, was the first president to be impeached when he was brought to trial in 1868, but he was acquitted (Library of Congress).

U.S. President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln, was the first president to be impeached when he was brought to trial in 1868, but he was acquitted (Library of Congress).

famous executive order was Executive Order 8022, called the Fair Employment Practice, which prohibited racial discrimination in the defense industry. Similarly, Executive Order 9981 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin in all of the armed forces.

Can the president veto only a portion of a law after it is passed by Congress?

No, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clinton v. City of New York (1997; see LegalSpeak, p. 31) that the president did not have the constitutional authority to repeal, or nullify, a federal law once it becomes law. "There is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, amend, or to repeal statutes," the Court wrote in striking down the Line Item Veto Act of 1996. The Supreme Court made clear that there is a difference between a president vetoing a bill before it becomes law and a president canceling part of a law after it has already become law.

What is "impeachment"?

Impeachment refers to proceedings brought against certain federal public officials for offenses, abuse of office, or other misconduct while the official holds public office. The impeachment process involves both bodies of Congress—the House of Representatives and the Senate. Under Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the House has the "sole power of impeachment." This means that the House brings formal charges against an official. Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution provides that "the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments."

Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that "The President, the vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Members of the House and Senate are not subject to impeachment. The House and Senate can expel their own members in a different process other than impeachment.

Can presidents be impeached?

Yes, Article II also says that a president can be impeached for "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

What happened in the Clinton impeachment hearings?

This country debated the meaning of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" when the House of Representatives voted to impeach President William J. Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. The controversy began after it was revealed Clinton concealed his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky during a deposition in a civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones. Jones had alleged that Clinton sexually harassed her when he was governor of Arkansas.

Critics of the proceedings called them politically motivated prosecution about the private sexual life of the president. Proponents of the proceedings argued the proceedings were brought against the president because he lied and obstructed justice in the Paula Jones civil lawsuit. The House voted to impeach the president but he was acquitted in the Senate.

 
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