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PS 310W: The American Presidency. Dr. Casey B. K. Dominguez Grades. 25% Research paper (to be handed in with outline and drafts) 20% Final Exam 15% Midterm 10% Analytical essay (to be handed in with outline and drafts) 10% Oral presentation/debates

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ps 310w the american presidency

PS 310W: The American Presidency

Dr. Casey B. K. Dominguez

  • 25% Research paper (to be handed in with outline and drafts)
  • 20% Final Exam
  • 15% Midterm
  • 10% Analytical essay (to be handed in with outline and drafts)
  • 10% Oral presentation/debates
  • 5% Class participation and prompt attendance
  • 5% Pop quizzes
  • 5% Peer editing
  • 5% 2 short homework essays
first essay assignment
First essay assignment
  • Does the current system of selecting presidents produce “good” presidents? Would another system, or modifications to our current system, help produce better presidential leadership?
dual role
Dual Role
  • Head of State
  • Head of Government
congress constitutional powers
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

…To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures

…To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, … the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

…To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof

Congress’ Constitutional Powers
the president s constitutional powers
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

…He may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper;

he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers;

he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,

and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States

The President’s Constitutional Powers
sources of presidential power
Sources of Presidential Power
  • The Constitution
  • Congress
  • Courts
  • Political parties
  • Federalism
  • Bureaucracy
  • The public
  • The media
  • International affairs and events
constraints on presidential power
Constraints on Presidential Power
  • Formal
    • Congress
    • Courts
    • Federalism
  • Informal
    • Press
    • Public
    • Bureaucracy
    • History
    • Skill
is it legitimate
Is it legitimate?
  • To tell the press he doesn’t know the answer to a question when he does?
  • To refuse to spend money Congress has appropriated?
  • To refuse to enforce laws Congress has passed and he has signed?
  • To suspend civil liberties for some citizens during a time of war?
  • To invade a country without asking for Congress’ permission? What about “just” bombing it?
major project assignment
Major Project Assignment
  • Research the facts and history surrounding:
    • The president’s right to issue signing statements that declare a law will not be enforced
    • The president’s right to conduct wiretap surveillance of American citizens without getting a court order
  • Write a persuasive essay arguing whether or not the president has the power he claims to have
  • In groups, stage an informative debate on the issue