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Lecture 7

PLS100 lecture 7

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Michigan State University
Political Science
PLS 100

Chapter 7: The Presidency Power of the President *Unitary executive -Controls entire executive branch including all federal agencies -Direct subordinates to take action -Veto actions (including those explicitly required by a law congress has passed) -Controversial view of the presidency *”Imperial presidency” -Acting more like a king than a president -Mark expansion of the powers of the presidency over the years Historical Transformation *Historically: -Limited resources -Small role as “chief clerk” -19th century: cabinet based gov. and parties *20th century and beyond: growth of executive, presidents assume administrative duties Commander in Chief *Official head of US armed forces (art.2 sec.2 of constitution) *Check: Congress declares war and funds operations *First mover advantage -Congress must either accept or reject presidents actions -War Powers Resolution (1973): limits presidents ability to conduct war operations without congresses approval, must inform congress within 48hrs of putting troops into military action & requires operation end within 60 days unless congress provides an extension -Presidents largely have military at their disposal Head of State *Conduct foreign relations *Treaties: contracts or formal agreements with other countries -Check: Senate ratification (2/3 vote) *Executive agreements: like a treaty but doesn't need to be ratified, can’t supersede any part of US law, not mentioned in constitution, informal deals, now more common in US foreign relations than treaties Chief Executive *Executive power vested in president *No provision for executive departments or cabinet *Constitution long on generalities, short on details *Congress Executive Privilege *Right to withhold information from Congress and courts *Constitution is silent *United States v. Nixon (1974): Supreme Court ruled that president can’t use executive privilege to impede criminal investigations pending against him *George W. Bush -Industry executives formulating energy policy -Courts didn’t release documents Executive Orders *Presidential control over bureaucracy *EO: formal instructions from the president -ex. Emancipation Proclamat
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