USA - Power of President & Congress... Supreme Court

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  • Created by: weeshmagg
  • Created on: 20-03-11 18:06

Powers of the President - USA

  • Introduction

The President is an extremely powerful individual in America. However - within US politics - in order to ensure that no group could gain too much power, the separation of powers was re-enforced by a series of checks and balances. The powers of the President are checked by Congress and Supreme Court to ensure that the President is looking out for all individuals of the USA. If either were to find that the President is not acting in the best interests of the people of the USA, the Congress and the Supreme Court have the power to check his actions.

  • Power of Patronage

One power the President has is the power of Patronage which allows him to appoint individuals to high positions within Government such as that of a Supreme Court Justice or a US ambassador. So far, Barack Obama has been able to appoint his first Hispanic Justice to the bench. Any such appointment must be approved by the Senate. The Supreme Court Justices are appointed ofr life which therefore means the President cannot get rid of them. Many President have had to live with a Supreme Court who had alternative views on the laws of the USA. These Presidents had  to soften their policies in the face of Supreme Court meaning that powers of the President can be restricted due to not being allowed full control over the law.

  • Bills

Another Power aspect of the Presidential role comes through the State of the Union address where the President outlines his focus for what he would like to see implemented in the next year. For example, in his 2011 address, President Barack Obama expressed his wish to see tighter gun laws. However, the President cannot directly propose Bills - the Congress has to submit them. On the other hand, the President does have the power to approve Bills passed by Congress. When both Houses have passed a Bill they can send it to the President for his approval. If he agrees - the President signs it and it becomes law. If the President does not agree  he can use his veto. There are 2 ways in which the President can exercise his veto.




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