2ObjectivesExplain the President’s legislative powers and how they are an important part of the system of checks and balances.Describe the President’s major judicial powers.
3Key Termspocket veto: a method of killing a bill at the end of a congressional session by not acting on it before Congress adjournsline-item veto: the power to cancel out specific provisions, or line items, in a bill while approving the rest of the measurereprieve: the postponement of the carrying out of a criminal sentence
4Key Terms, cont. pardon: the legal forgiveness of a crime clemency: the power of mercy or leniencycommutation: the power to reduce a fine or the length of a sentence imposed by a courtamnesty: a blanket pardon offered to a group of law violators
5IntroductionHow can the President check the actions of the legislative and judicial branches?By using the message power to influence Congress to pass desired legislationBy vetoing bills passed by CongressBy pardoning citizens accused or convicted of crimesBy reducing fines or the length of sentencesBy granting amnesty to groups of people
6Legislative PowersThe President sends messages to Congress to suggest legislationThe President has great influence with CongressThere are three major messages a yearThe State of the Union, delivered to a joint session of CongressThe President’s budget messageThe Annual Economic Report
7State of the Union Message Joint Session of Congress
8Veto PowerLegislation passed by Congress must be submitted to the PresidentThe President canSign the bill into lawVeto the billAllow the bill to become law by not acting upon it within ten daysExercise a pocket vetoBy not acting on the bill before Congress adjourns in under 10 daysCheckpoint Answer: The President can sign the bill into law, veto the bill, allow it to become law through inaction, or exercise a pocket veto at the end of a session of Congress.
9Overriding a VetoCongress can override a veto with a two-thirds majority, but this rarely happensIt is difficult to gather enough votes in each houseThe mere threat of a veto can often defeat a bill or cause changesEarly Presidents rarely exercised the veto, but it is common today
10When the President and the majority of Congress are of the same party, vetoes tend to be rare. They tend to be more frequent during periods of divided government.Answer to feature question: Student answers will vary, depending upon their support of specific presidents or the presidency in general.
11Judicial PowersThe President can grant pardons and reprieves in federal court casesThe President can pardon people before they have even been tried or convicted, though this is rarePresident Gerald Ford famously pardoned former President Nixon in 1974 before Nixon had been triedIn 1893, President Benjamin Harrison pardoned all Mormons who had violated polygamy lawsA person must accept a pardon for it to go into effectThe Supreme Court upheld this rule in 1915
12Judicial Powers, cont.The President can commute, or reduce, a fine or prison sentenceThe President can also issue a blanket amnesty that pardons a group of peopleIn 1977, President Jimmy Carter gave amnesty to all Vietnam War draft evadersCheckpoint Answer: The power to commute sentences and grant amnesties are included in the power to pardon individuals for federal offenses, even before they have been formally accused or tried in court.