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Chapter 11: The Executive Branch. Qualifications for the Presidency Legal Qualifications: – Be ____ years of age – Natural-born citizen (citizen by birth)

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11: The Executive Branch. Qualifications for the Presidency Legal Qualifications: – Be ____ years of age – Natural-born citizen (citizen by birth)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 11: The Executive Branch

2 Qualifications for the Presidency Legal Qualifications: – Be ____ years of age – Natural-born citizen (citizen by birth) – Resident of the U.S. for ____ years Personal Qualifications: – No one under ____ has ever been elected (or succeeded) to the Presidency All Presidents have been male All but 2 have been married (____________, ___________) Only one has been divorced (____________) 2/3 have come to the office with legal training Only one non-protestant has been elected – ___________ was the youngest and Catholic Political qualifications: – Well-known – State governors – U.S. Senators before becoming candidates

3 Electoral College Sole purpose – elect a President Electoral College process: – The # of electors from each state is equal to the number of ___________ plus the _________from that state – Slate of electors winning the highest number of votes in a given state wins all of the electoral votes from that state (“____________” system) The winning slate does not need to receive a _________ of the popular votes – Total of _______ electoral votes (a majority of _____ votes are needed to win the election)

4 How the Electoral College Works

5 Weaknesses of the Electoral College The system can select a candidate who did not win the most popular votes… – It denies the value of the popular vote Possibility that no candidate wins a majority of the electoral vote… – Constitution provides that if no clear majority exists, the final election must take place in the ________________________ This procedure will favor the party that controls the __________

6 Weaknesses of the Electoral College

7 Term of Office Four-year terms Elected in years divisible by 4 _____________began the tradition that no President would serve more than 2 terms – ______________elected to four terms – ______ Amendment, ratified in 1951, now limits Presidents term to two terms Vice President who succeeds to the office may run for the presidency twice – but ONLY if the first partial term was for less than two years – Under this rule – the maximum time in office for a former Vice President is now one day less than ten years; two regular terms plus less than half of the former President’s term

8 What are the President’s duties as chief of state? A symbol of the nation: acting as chief of state the President is the symbol of the United States, its power, and its policies – American people look to the President as a symbol of their way of life – the rest of the world sees the United States reflected in the President’s image President = chief legislator, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief politician, and chief jurist

9 How does a President serve as a chief legislator? Sources of the Presidents legislative power: power derives from the Constitution, Article II – Each January the President delivers a formal State of the Union address to Congress – in person or by special message Speech – outlines the economic and social problems Budget message Veto Power: gives the President a bargaining chip with Congress – Knowing that a bill faces a veto, congressional leaders often modify legislation to conform more closely to the wishes of the White House Checks and Balances: executive branch can not dominate Congress – veto power illustrates the President’s voice in the legislative matters – President’s role as chief legislator provides an excellent example of the system of check and balances

10 Selection of the Cabinet Presidents are free to select the members of their Cabinets – A complete changeover usually occurs when a new administration takes office – especially when? Each nomination requires Senate approval before the new secretary can be sworn in – Almost all candidates are approved

11 Duties of the Cabinet Secretaries perform 3 main duties: – 1. Manage the affairs of their departments – 2. Represent their departments in public and before Congress by giving speeches, writing legislation, and testifying before committees – 3. Advise the President on matters that concern their departments Cabinet gathers ONLY at the call of the chief executive

12 President Obama’s Cabinet

13 Executive Authority Executive orders: complex regulations that make the laws specific – The Supreme Court can intervene to strike down an executive order that the justices believe exceeds Constitutional limits President exercises executive powers – granted by the Constitution – to appoint federal officers – Under Civil Service laws this patronage power is limited to the highest ranking positions

14 How does the President serve as chief politician? Presidents get involved in politics because they need legislators in Congress who will support the administration’s programs Presidents use political “muscle” to maintain party discipline in the face of challenges by the opposition party

15 President’s Arsenal: President’s arsenal of weapons with which to change the minds of reluctant members of Congress: – 1. Contacts with key legislators – by phone or in person – 2. Suggestions that the President might support or oppose “pet” bills or projects greatly desired by the members of Congress whose support the administration needs – 3. Withholding of federal spending for projects in the home districts of uncooperative legislators – or promises of increased spending for “friendly” lawmakers – 4. Request loyalty and cooperation “for the good of the party” – 5. Direct appeals to the public Coattail effect: National, state, and local politicians are said to “ride into office on the President’s coattails”.

16 Why does the President serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces? Constitution puts ultimate control of the armed forces in civilian hands Final military authority: direct the American military in times of war and peace The role of Congress: President does not have absolute control of the military – CONSTITUTION gives Congress, not the President, the right to declare war – Note: WMD – Weapons of mass destruction

17 Scene from “West Wing”: President Bartlett’s first test as Commander-in-Chief

18 How does the President function as chief jurist? President has a direct hand in judicial matters: – 1. appoints all judges of the federal judiciary – 2. grants pardons to individuals accused or convicted of crimes – 3. take responsibility for carrying out court orders and decisions

19 PARDON – The Final Appeal 3 choices as chief jurist: – 1. The President may grant a full pardon, which restores civil rights, ends punishment or prevents it, and grants legal forgiveness for any criminal acts – 2. If the individual has already served time in prison, the President may commute the sentence. Either shortens the sentence or cuts it off at the time served to date – 3. The President may grant a reprieve. This temporarily postpones execution of a sentence, whether it is payment of a fine, imprisonment, or death President’s power to pardon applies only to certain types of criminal cases – it extends to military as well as to civilian courts – BUT not to STATE courts The President may not pardon a federal official who has been impeached and convicted

20 What is the role of the Vice President? One single constitutional duty – that of presiding over the Senate 25 th Amendment: – 1. The Vice President can take over when the President notifies the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House in writing that “he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”. – 2. Should the President be unable or unwilling to write this letter, the Vice President, with the approval of the majority of the Cabinet, may notify Congress of the President’s disability The Vice President serves as a temporary President A 2/3 vote of both houses is required to confirm the President’s disability

21 Presidential Succession United States has never faced a situation in which both the President and Vice President died at the same time – Presidential Succession Act of 1947 spells out the process for choosing a President: Speaker of the House is first in line of succession – followed by the President pro tempore of the Senate – If neither of these two people can serve, the Secretary of State becomes President » After this…the succession passes down through a list of other Cabinet members

22 Presidential Humor


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