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  • Checks
    • Executive (President)
      • Congress
        • Veto billls and used to be able to line item veto
          • Obama has only used two vetoes, last one in 2010
        • State of the Union Address
          • George W Bush used his to focus of his War on Terror
      • Supreme Court
        • Appoints federal judges
          • Obama - Sonia Sotomayor (2009) and Elena Kagan (2010)
        • Grants pardons, reprieves and can commute sentences
          • President Ford pardoned his predecessor President Nixon because of the watergate affair
          • On his final day Clinton pardoned over 140 people including tax fugitive Mark Rich
          • As of December 2013 Obama has pardoned 61 people
    • Legislature (Congress)
      • Supreme Court
        • Impeachment, trial, conviction and removal from office
          • 2010 Thomas Porteous was impeached for corruption and was found guilty in the Senate on four counts so removed later that year
        • Propose constitutional amendments
          • In 1896 the SC declared federal income tax to be unconstitutional so Congress proposed the 16th amendment granting Congress the power to levy income tax and was ratified in 1913
          • More recently attempted this on issues such as flag burning and prayers in schools but has been unsuccessful
      • President
        • Impeachment, House brings charges and Senate holds trial
          • 1998 Clinton accused by House for perjury and obstruction of justice but Senate found him not guilty on both counts
          • 1974 Nixon resigned to avoid a near certain impeachment
        • Override veto with 2/3 of both houses
          • Obama's two vetoes have not been overridden
        • House - budget control
          • 2013 shutdown because they refused to give enough money for Obamacare
        • Senate - ratify treaties, confirm appoitments
          • Robert Bork was most famously rejected to be on the SC by the Senate because of how right wing he was
          • Rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty in 1999, first major treaty rejected since the treaty of Versailles in 1920
        • Declare war
          • Last time war was declared was WWII, Japan in 1941
        • Amend, block or reject items of legislation recommended by the president
          • Obama's Affordable Care Act was passed but only after it was significantly amended
    • Judiciary (Supreme Court)
      • President
        • Federal judges and justices are appointed for life
          • William Rehnquist was appointed by Nixon and died under Bush
        • Declare executive orders unconstitutional
          • Hamdan V Rumsfeld 2006, declared unconstitutional to try suspected members of al Qaeda held at Guantanamo Bay
      • Congress
        • Judicial review - declare laws unconstitutional
          • In 2012 they declared Obama's Affordable Care Act constitutional


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