Describe the powers of US president and how the president is elected?

(1) Introduction To Office Of American President:

American Constitution has established a system in United States of America. In such system, powers have been given to American President through law and constitution. However, doctrine of check and balance has been observed while establishing presidential system. If American President is not responsible to American Congress and American Congress cannot remove American President through a vote of no confidence, American President does not have power to dissolve American Congress.

(2) Procedure Of Election Of American President:

Following procedure is adopted for election of American President:

  • (i) Indirect election
  • (ii) Electoral college
  • (iii) Constitution of electoral college
  • (iv) Election of electoral college
  • (v) Election of American President
  • (vi) Announcement of result
  • (vii) Election through American House of Representative
  • (viii) American Vice-President as American President

(i) Indirect Election:

According to American Constitution, American president is elected through indirect election.

(ii) Electoral College:

An Electoral College elects American President and total membership of such Electoral College is 538.

(iii) Constitution Of Electoral College:

This Electoral College is constituted in each state of United States of America and consists as many presidential electors as is the number of members in the American Congress.

(iv) Election Of Electoral College:

In United States of America, people of each state elect their Electoral College.

(v) Election Of American President:

After their elections, Electoral Colleges gather in their respective states to vote so as to elect American President.

(vi) Announcement Of Result:

Each state seals results of voting and sends it to Chairman of American Senate. After this, joint session of American Congress is held to count the votes. After counting of votes, a candidate, who secures 270 votes out of total 538 votes, is declared American President.

(vii) Election Through American House Of Representative:

If no candidate secures 270 votes out of total 538 votes, American House of Representatives elects American President from the first three candidates, who have secured maximum majority in election, which is held through Electoral College. In such case, each state of United States of America is to caste one vote. And out of these three candidates, the candidate, who secures highest number of votes, is declared winner.

(viii) American Vice-President As American President:

If no candidate is elected as American President through above-mentioned procedure, American Vice-President becomes American President.

(3) Office Of American President:

It has been observed that President is though head of state in parliamentary form of government, yet office of president is ceremonial in such form of government. Contrary to this, very President possesses great authority and is the most American powerful elected representative in the world. The reason is that American President is not only the head of state, but is also head of American government. In addition to this, American President leads executive branch of American federal government and is commander-in-chief of American Armed-Forces.

(4) Powers & Functions Of American President:

Followings are powers of American President:

  • (i) Executive powers
  • (ii) Judicial powers
  • (iii) Legislative powers
  • (iv) Financial powers
  • (v) Diplomatic powers
  • (vi) Emergency powers

(1) Executive Powers:

As chief executive of United States of America, American President possesses following executive powers:

  • (a) Power of appointment
  • (b) Maintenance of law & order
  • (c) Chief of Armed Forces
  • (d) Chief administrator

(a) Power Of Appointment:

American President possesses power to appoint Ambassadors to foreign countries and international organizations, judges of American Supreme Court, secretaries, high rank officials and some low rank officials. However, confirmation of such appointments is necessary from American Senate. But such confirmation is not necessary for appointment of low rank official.

(b) Maintenance Of Law & Order:

Under American Constitution and law, American President has power to maintain law and order.

(c) Chief Of Armed Forces:

American President is Commander-in-Chief or Chief of American Armed Forces. As Chief of Armed Forces, American President can send troops and can declare war with consent of American Congress and can make peace without consent of American Congress.

(d) Chief Administrator:

American President is Chief administrator of American administration. As chief administrator, American President has to supervise activities of American-Cabinet and power administrative departments.

(ii) Judicial Powers:

American President possesses some following specific judicial powers:

  • (a) Power to grant amnesty
  • (b) Power to pardon
  • (c) Power to reprieve

(a) Power To Grant Amnesty:

American President has power to grant amnesty.

(b) Power To Pardon:

American President possesses power to pardon a criminal, who has violated federal law. However, such power cannot be exercised in cases of impeachment.

(c) Power To Reprieve:

American President has power to reprieve. However, such power can only be exercised in respect of federal law and cannot be used in respect of state law.

(iii) Legislative Powers:

Like British royal assent, American President’s approval is necessary for transforming of Bills into laws. American President possesses following legislative powers:

  • (a) Pocket-veto
  • (b) Veto Power
  • (c) Calling of extra ordinary session of Congress
  • (d) Proposal for new legislation or amendment (e)
  • (e) Suggestions for legislative measures

(a) Pocket-veto

If American Congress is in session. Bill becomes law when American President does not return it to the Congress within ten days after its presentation to him/her. However, if session of American Congress is adjourned before ten days or the congress is not in session, the Bill is considered rejected especially when American President does not return it to the Congress within ten days after its presentation to him/her. Such power of American President is called pocket veto.

(b) Veto Power:

American President has power to veto a Bill.

(c) calling of extra ordinary session of congress:

For consideration of matters of urgent nature, American President can call extra ordinary session of American Congress.

 (d) Proposal For New Legislation Or Amendment:

For new legislation or amendment, American President has power to send proposal to American Congress.

(e) Suggestions For Legislative Measures:

American President possesses power to send Congress those suggestions, which are necessary for legislative measures.

(iv) Financial Powers:

As far as preparation of national budget and its prepration to American Congress are concerned. American President has some prominent powers.

(v) Diplomatic Powers:

American President possesses following diplomatic powers:

  • (a) Agreements
  • (b) Peace
  • (c) Foreign policy
  • (d) Appointment of diplomatic representatives
  • (e) Recognition of a new government or state

(a) Agreements:

Without consent of American Congress, American President can make agreements with other states.

(b) Peace:

Without consent of American Congress, American President can make peace with other states so as to make ceasefire and end war.

(c) Foreign Policy:

Practically, it is American President, who makes American foreign policy.

(d) Appointment Of Diplomatic Representatives:

With consent of American Congress, American President appoint diplomatic representatives to foreign countries and international organizations.

(e) Recognition Of A New Government Or State:

American President also possesses power to recognize not only new state, but also new government of a state.

(vi) Emergency Powers:

American President possesses emergency powers, which he/she can exercise during crisis. Followings are some emergency powers of American President:

  • (a) Restrictions on export of American goods
  • (b) Withholding of information
  • (c) Declaration of martial law
  • (d) Restriction on publishing President’s regulations in Federal Register
  • (e) Fixing of wages & prices
  • (f) Restriction on means of communication
  • (g) Allocation of materials
  • (h) Assistance from armed forces
  • (i) Confinement of any individual
  • (j) Restriction of movement
  • (k) Restriction on access to Americans
  • (l) Restriction on freedom of associations
  • (m) Suspension of Habeas Corpus.

(a) Restrictions On Export Of American Goods:

During emergency, American President can impose restrictions on export of American goods to some other countries

(b) Withholding Of Information:

During emergency, American President can withhold any information. And such information is not reported to Congress.

(c) Declaration Of Martial Law:

During emergency, American President possesses power to declare martial law.

(d) Restriction On Publishing President’s Regulations In Federal Register:

American President has power to impose restriction on his/her regulations in Federal Register during emergency

(e) Fixing Of Wages & Prices:

Another emergency power of American President is that be/she can fix wages and prices during emergency.

(f) Restriction On Means Of Communication:

In emergency, American President can impose restriction on means of communication between his/her country and other states.

(g) Allocation Of Materials:

During emergency, American President has power to order for allocation of material in some way so as to strengthen national defense.

(h) Assistance From Armed Forces:

Another emergency power of American President is that he/she can ask American Armed Forces to assist such American forces, which have been deployed in other states.

(i) Confinement Of Any Individual:

If any individual appears to threaten national interest and security, American President can order for his/her confinement 176

(j) Restriction Of Movement:

During emergency, American President can impose restriction on movement to or from United States of America and within or over United States of America.

(k) Restriction On Access To Americans:

In emergency, American President can impose restriction on access to Americans.

(l) Restriction On Freedom Of Associations:

During emergency, American President can impose restriction on freedom of associations.

(m) Suspension Of Habeas Corpus:

In emergency, American President can order for suspension of Habeas Corpus.

 

(5) Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be stated that American President has obtained too much powers over American Congress. However, this reality cannot be ignored that there is great check and balance on powers of American President. To exercise his/her powers in most of cases, American President has to receive approval of American Congress.

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