Research Paper Writing Help on The Limits to Presidential Power

The Limits to Presidential Power

The power of the president is often not fixed but is rather limited by both political constraints and constitutional restrictions. The Constitution outlines the powers that the presidency has as regards to the formation of laws within the nation and control on the military action that he yields as the commander in chief of the armed forces. In order to limit the powers of the presidency, the constitution prescribes a system of checks and balances that shares the powers of the government among the judiciary, the executive, and the legislative branches. Primary restrictions on the power of the presidency are based on the legislative role and the Supreme Court.

The Congress is an important arm of the government that plays a vital role in ensuring the president does not exceed on his mandate when making key decisions that pertain to how government is run. Article II Section 3 of the constitution establishes the executive powers of the presidency key among them being the Veto power for the presidency. Veto power means that the president can refuse to sign acts of parliament in policy or constitutional grounds. He then can return the act to Congress having suggested changes that need to be made before the act is signed. However, if the Legislature feels that the act is okay as it is then its passage has to be supported by a two-thirds majority to overturn the Veto imposed by the presidency (Schlesinger 21). This ensures that the needs of the public can be met by an overwhelming support of representatives especially when the presidency is not concerned with the needs of its citizenry. The two-thirds provision limits the presidency from misusing the aspect of Veto power.

The Supreme Court is the final legal authority in the country, and it has the responsibility of interpreting laws and rejecting any executive action that it deems a contradiction to the constitution. Article II Section 3 of the constitution to appoint new Supreme Court justices and federal judges (Law2 1) mandates the president. This in effect turns the federal bench into translating the constitution according to the preferences of the presidency (Schlesinger 46). However, this power is limited by the constitution having in place a requirement that all presidential executive orders must be in conformity with statutory law or risk non-enforcement by federal courts. In addition, Article II Section 3 states that presidential appointments must be consented to the majority vote in Senate. Moreover, any executive agreement between the presidency and another nation is subject to judicial review, and the court has the authority to declare it null and void if it is unconstitutional (Pious 1).

The most significant check on presidential power is stipulated in the “auxiliary precautions” of impeachment that is found in Article II, Section 4. A president can be detached from his office if he engages in high crimes and misdemeanors. High crimes are crimes against the state that include treason while a high misdemeanor is substantial corruption and maladministration (Pious 1). A president is subjected to impeachment hearings when there is a majority of the votes in the House of Representatives demanding it. He is then tried in the Senate where the Chief Justice presides over the hearing. The risk of impeachment limits the president from misusing executive power in perpetrating crime and corruption.

Works Cited

Law2. Constitutional Powers of the President- Article II. 2015. 9 May 2015. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/prespowers.html>.

Pious, Richard M. The Powers of the Presidency. New York: Barnard College, 2012.

Schlesinger, Jr. Arthur M. The Imperial Presidency. Boston: Mariner Books; Reprint edition, 2012.