Power of the President

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How much power does the President really have? Does the President sometimes overstep his boundaries? Can the President also be put in his place by the legislative branch or the judicial branch? The answer to both of the latter questions is yes. Yes the president oversteps his boundaries, but there are also times when he has almost no power and his powers can be taken away from him. There are times when he uses his influence and power to have an affair, when he goes to war without Congress making a declaration of war; there are times when he makes executive agreement that the Senate can do nothing about. There are also times when the president is impeached, which is the greatest of punishments when concerning the president. The president has many powers, both given by the Constitution and inferred.

The president has a list of his powers and what he is allowed to do while in office. The Constitution itself gives the president his rights and boundaries. For instance, the president is allowed to be elected to a term for four years according to Article II of the Constitution. “He shall hold his office during the Term of four Years, together with the Vice President…” (Lawler, pg. 411) A follow up to this would be the 22nd Amendment which states that the president cannot be elected for more than two terms. “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice…” (Lawler, pg 422) This amendment was put into place after Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for and won the presidency three times in a row and Congress realized that there could be some people who would continue to run and perhaps win until they die in office. This could lead to a dictatorship and it is better to not risk it, just in case a president decides to take more power than he has. My point in this is that from the beginning the Founding Fathers were trying not to make the president a king-like figure that could take control. The Founding Fathers decided to limit the president’s time in office so that no one man could become this king.

There are certain powers given to the president that may make it seem like he is the ultimate figure in the government of the United States. The president has the power to appoint the Justices of the Supreme Court. These are the men and women who deal with usually the more important legal cases of the nation and they themselves hold power. This power was given to the president in Article II Section 2 “…by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the supreme Court…” (Lawler, pg 412) Of course, this also says that the Senate has to agree with the choice. The president only has the power to nominate people for the position of Supreme Court Justice, but if his candidate is chosen, then the president’s views gain a little more power. Usually, the president will only pick a candidate who shares with his ideals or with his party’s ideals, so if he can get his man in, then the cases can be ruled in the favor of the president’s political party more often.

The President also has the power to appoint ambassadors. This power is given in Article II Section 2 just like the last one: “…by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors…” (Lawler, pg 412) This, like the appointment of the Justices, could become a problem if the President was the supreme overlord. There are many things that could go wrong if the President chose a horrible ambassador and the Senate was not there to make sure that the candidate was suitable for the job. This does not hold the same power as it once did for the Founding Fathers, but at one point it was important to have the right sort of ambassador to go to the country and be involved with foreign affairs. One day, a power like this could be just as important as it once was.

The President has the ability to make treaties, with the help of the Senate though. This is covered in Article II Section 2: “He shall...
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