Article Two of the United States Constitution

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Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_0

Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the president of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, and establishes the president's powers and responsibilities. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_1

Section 1 of Article Two establishes the positions of the president and the vice president, and sets the term of both offices at four years. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_2

Section 1's Vesting Clause declares that the executive power of the federal government is vested in the president and, along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Three, establishes the separation of powers among the three branches of government. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_3

Section 1 also establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_4

Section 1 provides that each state chooses members of the Electoral College in a manner directed by each state's respective legislature, with the states granted electors equal to their combined representation in both houses of Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_5

Section 1 lays out the procedures of the Electoral College and requires the House of Representatives to hold a contingent election to select the president if no individual wins a majority of the electoral vote. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_6

Section 1 also sets forth the eligibility requirements for the office of the president, provides procedures in case of a presidential vacancy, and requires the president to take an oath of office. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_7

Section 2 of Article Two lays out the powers of the presidency, establishing that the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the military, among many other roles. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_8

This section gives the president the power to grant pardons. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_9

Section 2 also requires the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender advice. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_10

Though not required by Article Two, President George Washington organized the principal officers of the executive departments into the Cabinet, a practice that subsequent presidents have followed. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_11

The Treaty Clause grants the president the power to enter into treaties with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_12

The Appointments Clause grants the president the power to appoint judges and public officials subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, which in practice has meant that presidential appointees must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_13

The Appointments Clause also establishes that Congress can, by law, allow the president, the courts, or the heads of departments to appoint "inferior officers" without requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_14

The final clause of Section 2 grants the president the power to make recess appointments to fill vacancies that occur when the Senate is in recess. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_15

Section 3 of Article Two lays out the responsibilities of the president, granting the president the power to convene both houses of Congress, receive foreign representatives, and commission all federal officers. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_16

Section 3 requires the president to inform Congress of the "state of the union"; since 1913 this has taken the form of a speech referred to as the State of the Union. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_17

The Recommendation Clause requires the president to recommend measures s/he deems "necessary and expedient." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_18

The Take Care Clause requires the president to obey and enforce all laws, though the president retains some discretion in interpreting the laws and determining how to enforce them. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_19

Section 4 of Article Two establishes that the president and other officers can be removed from office through the impeachment process, which is further described in Article One. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_20

Section 1: President and vice president Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_0

Clause 1: Executive Power Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_1

Section 1 begins with a vesting clause that confers federal executive power upon the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_21

Similar clauses are found in Article I and Article III; the former bestows federal legislative power exclusively to Congress, and the latter grants judicial power solely to the Supreme Court, and other federal courts established by law. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_22

These three articles together secure a separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government, and individually, each one entrenches checks and balances on the operation and power of the other two branches. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_23

Article I grants certain powers to Congress, and the Vesting Clause does not reassign those powers to the President. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_24

In fact, because those actions require legislation passed by Congress which must be signed by the president to take effect, those powers are not strictly executive powers granted to or retained by Congress per se. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_25

Nor were they retained by the U.S. Congress as leftovers from the Articles of Confederation. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_26

The Articles of Confederation, Continental Congress and its powers were abolished at the time the new U.S. Congress was seated and the new federal government formally and officially replaced its interim predecessor. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_27

And although the president is implicitly denied the power to unilaterally declare war, a declaration of war is not in and of itself a vehicle of executive power since it is literally just a public declaration that the U.S. government considers itself "at war" with a foreign political entity. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_28

Regardless of the inability to declare war, the president does have the power to unilaterally order military action in defense of the United States pursuant to "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces". Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_29

By U.S. law, this power is limited in that he must notify Congress within 48 hours after the beginning of military operations, explaining the source of his authority for the action. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_30

Once proper legal notification is given to the required members of Congress, military action can continue for up to 60 days without further authorization from Congress, or up to 90 days if the president "determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_31

As treaties are by U.S. law official agreements with foreign governments recognized as such only after Senate ratification, the president obviously cannot make treaties unilaterally. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_32

However, the president does determine and decide U.S. foreign policy, and can enter into non-binding discussions and give conditional approval to agreements reached with foreign governments subject to Senate ratification at a future date. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_33

Additionally, since official treaties are specifically created under and by constitutional U.S. law, and are entered into by both government and the people as a whole, in their capacity as head of state and as the single individual representative of the United States and its citizens, the president does have Coauthority and Constitutional duty to unilaterally withdraw the United States from treaties if he or she determines the best interests and well being of the U.S. and its citizens are benefited by doing so. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_34

As far as presidential appointments, as with treaties a person is not officially and legally appointed to a position until their appointment is approved by the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_35

Prior to Senate approval and publication of that approval along with an official date and time for their swearing-in and assumption of duties and responsibilities, they are nominees rather than appointees. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_36

And again, the president nominates people for specific positions at their pleasure and can do so without or in spite of Senate advice. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_37

Senate consent occurs when a majority of senators votes to approve and therefore appoint a nominee. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_38

The head of the Executive Branch is the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_39

Although also named in this first clause, the vice president is not constitutionally vested with any executive power. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_40

Nonetheless, the Constitution dictates that the president and vice president are to be elected at the same time, for the same term, and by the same constituency. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_41

The framers' intent was to preserve the independence of the executive branch should the person who was vice president succeed to the duties of the presidency. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_42

Clause 2: Method of choosing electors Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_2

Under the U.S. Constitution the president and vice president are chosen by electors, under a constitutional grant of authority delegated to the legislatures of the several states. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_43

The Constitution reserves the choice of the precise manner for selecting electors to the will of the state legislatures. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_44

It does not define or delimit what process a state legislature may use to create its state college of electors. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_45

In practice, the state legislatures have generally chosen to select electors through an indirect popular vote, since the 1820s. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_46

Most states have a "winner-take-all" system in which the candidate with the most votes in the state gets all the electoral votes. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_47

Maine and Nebraska allow individual congressional districts to elect one elector. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_48

In an indirect popular vote, it is the names of the candidates who are on the ballot to be elected. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_49

Most states do not put the names of the electors on the ballot. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_50

It is generally understood by the voters and the electors themselves that they are the representative "stand-ins" for the candidates and are expected to cast their electoral college ballots for the president and vice president who appeared on the ballot. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_51

The actual electors being voted for are usually selected by the candidate's party. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_52

There have been a few cases where some electors have refused to vote for the designated candidate, termed a faithless elector. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_53

Many states have mandated in law that electors shall cast their electoral college ballot for the designated presidential candidate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_54

The constitutionality of such mandates was established by the Supreme Court of the United States in Chiafalo v. Washington (2020). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_55

Each state chooses as many electors as it has representatives and senators representing it in Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_56

Under the 23rd Amendment, the District of Columbia may choose no more electors than the state with the lowest number of electoral votes (in effect, three electors), although since that amendment's ratification the District's population has never reached the threshold that would otherwise entitle it to choose four or more electors. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_57

U.S. senators, representatives and federal government officials are barred from becoming electors; in practice, the two major federal parties frequently select senior state party and government officials (up to and including governors) to serve as electors. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_58

In McPherson v. Blacker (1892), the Supreme Court affirmed the ability of a state to appoint its electors based on electoral districts rather than a statewide popular vote, describing the power of state legislatures to determine the method of appointment of electors as "plenary", and suggesting that it was not limited even by state constitutions. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_59

In Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board (2000), the Supreme Court remanded to the Supreme Court of Florida the question of "the extent to which the Florida Supreme Court saw the Florida Constitution as circumscribing the legislature's authority under Art. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_60

II, § 1, cl. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_61

2". Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_62

In Williams v. Rhodes (1968), the Court struck down as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause an Ohio law which placed heavy burdens on minor parties seeking to be placed on the ballot for presidential electors. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_63

The Supreme Court upheld the power of Congress to regulate political contributions intended to influence the appointment of electors in Burroughs v. United States (1934). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_64

Clause 3: Electors Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_3

In modern practice, parties nominate their electors through various methods, see Elector Nominations. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_65

Then, each state chooses its electors in popular elections. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_66

In most states, the party with the plurality of the popular vote gets all of its electors chosen. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_67

Once chosen, the electors meet in their respective states to cast ballots for the president and vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_68

Originally, each elector cast two votes for president; at least one of the individuals voted for had to be from a state different from the elector's. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_69

The individual with the majority of votes became president, and the runner-up became vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_70

In case of a tie between candidates who received votes from a majority of electors, the House of Representatives would choose one of the tied candidates; if no person received a majority, then the House could again choose one of the five with the greatest number of votes. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_71

When the House voted, each state delegation cast one vote, and the vote of a majority of states was necessary to choose a president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_72

If second-place candidates were tied, then the Senate broke the tie. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_73

A quorum in the House consisted of at least one member from two-thirds of the state delegations; there was no special quorum for the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_74

This procedure was followed in 1801 after the electoral vote produced a tie, and nearly resulted in a deadlock in the House. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_75

While the Constitution reflects the framers' clear preference for the president to be elected by a constituency independent of the Congress, one of the most palpable limitations created by the stipulation that electors meet in their respective states as opposed to a single venue was that given the constraints of eighteenth-century technology there was no practical means for that constituency to resolve deadlocked elections in a timely manner, thus necessitating the involvement of Congress in resolving deadlocked elections. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_76

Obviously, having the electors meet in the national capital or some other single venue could have permitted the electors to choose a president by means of an exhaustive ballot without Congressional involvement, but the framers were dissuaded from such an arrangement by two major considerations. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_77

First, it would have been quite burdensome for electors from distant states to travel to the national capital using eighteenth century means for the sole purpose of electing the president – since they were to be barred from simultaneously serving in the federal government in any other capacity, electors would likely have no other reason to go there. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_78

But probably even more importantly, many framers genuinely feared that if the electors met in a single venue, especially under the initial assumption that they would act independently as opposed to being bound to vote for particular candidates, they would be vulnerable to the influence of mobs who might try to ensure a particular result by means of threats and intimidation – this had been a fairly common occurrence in European elections for powerful officials by relatively small constituencies (for example, and perhaps in particular, in papal elections) from the Middle Ages up to the Constitution's creation. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_79

The 12th Amendment introduced a number of important changes to the procedure. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_80

Now, electors do not cast two votes for president; rather, they cast one vote for president and another for vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_81

In case no presidential candidate receives a majority, the House chooses from the top three (not five, as before the 12th Amendment). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_82

The Amendment also requires the Senate to choose the vice president from those with the two highest figures if no vice presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes (rather than only if there's a tie for second for president). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_83

It also stipulates that to be the vice president, a person must be qualified to be the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_84

Clause 4: Election day Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_4

Congress sets a national Election Day. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_85

Currently, electors are chosen on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November (the first Tuesday after November 1), in the year before the president's term is to expire. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_86

The electors cast their votes on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December (the first Monday after December 12) of that year. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_87

Thereafter, the votes are opened and counted by the vice president, as president of the Senate, in a joint session of Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_88

Clause 5: Qualifications for office Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_5

Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States: Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_89

See also: President of the United States Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_90

At the time of taking office, the President must be: Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_91

Article Two of the United States Constitution_unordered_list_0

  • a natural born citizen (or they became a citizen before September 17, 1787)Article Two of the United States Constitution_item_0_0
  • at least 35 years oldArticle Two of the United States Constitution_item_0_1
  • an inhabitant of the United States for at least fourteen years.Article Two of the United States Constitution_item_0_2

A person who meets the above qualifications, however, may still be constitutionally barred from holding the office of president under any of the following conditions: Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_92

Article Two of the United States Constitution_unordered_list_1

  • Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, gives the U.S. Senate the option of forever disqualifying anyone convicted in an impeachment case from holding any federal office.Article Two of the United States Constitution_item_1_3
  • Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits anyone who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the United States, from becoming president. However, this disqualification can be lifted by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress.Article Two of the United States Constitution_item_1_4
  • The 22nd Amendment prohibits anyone from being elected to the presidency more than twice (or once if the person serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a presidential term to which someone else was originally elected).Article Two of the United States Constitution_item_1_5

Clause 6: Vacancy and disability Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_6

Further information: United States presidential line of succession Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_93

The wording of this clause caused much controversy at the time it was first used. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_94

When William Henry Harrison died in office, a debate arose over whether the vice president would become president, or if he would just inherit the powers, thus becoming an acting president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_95

Harrison's vice president, John Tyler, believed that he had the right to become president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_96

However, many senators argued that he only had the right to assume the powers of the presidency long enough to call for a new election. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_97

Because the wording of the clause is so vague, it was impossible for either side to prove its point. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_98

Tyler took the Oath of Office as president, setting a precedent that made it possible for later vice presidents to ascend to the presidency unchallenged following the president's death. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_99

The "Tyler Precedent" established that if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_100

The Congress may provide for a line of succession beyond the vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_101

The current Presidential Succession Act establishes the order as the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate and then the fifteen Cabinet secretaries in order of each department's establishment. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_102

There are concerns regarding the constitutionality of having members of Congress in the line of succession, however, as this clause specifies that only an "officer of the United States" may be designated as a presidential successor. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_103

Constitutional scholars from James Madison to the present day have argued that the term "officer" excludes members of Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_104

The 25th Amendment explicitly states that if the president dies, resigns or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president, and also establishes a procedure for filling a vacancy in the office of the vice president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_105

The Amendment further provides that the president, or the vice president and Cabinet, can declare the president unable to discharge his or her duties, in which case the vice president becomes Acting president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_106

If the declaration is done by the vice president and Cabinet, the Amendment permits the president to take control back, unless the vice president and Cabinet challenge the president and two-thirds of both Houses vote to sustain the findings of the vice president and Cabinet. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_107

If the declaration is done by the president, he or she may take control back without risk of being overridden by the Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_108

Clause 7: Salary Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_7

"Domestic Emoluments Clause" redirects here. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_109

For other uses, see Emoluments Clause. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_110

See also: President of the United States § Compensation Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_111

The president's salary, currently $400,000 a year, must remain constant throughout the president's term. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_112

The president may not receive other compensation from either the federal or any state government. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_113

Clause 8: Oath or affirmation Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_8

Further information: Oath of office of the President of the United States Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_114

According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inaugurations, George Washington added the words "So help me God" during his first inaugural, though this has been disputed. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_115

There are no contemporaneous sources for this fact, and no eyewitness sources to Washington's first inaugural mention the phrase at all—including those that transcribed what he said for his oath. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_116

Also, the president-elect's name is typically added after the "I", for example, "I, George Washington, do...." Normally, the chief justice of the United States administers the oath. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_117

It is sometimes asserted that the oath bestows upon the president the power to do whatever is necessary to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_118

Andrew Jackson, while vetoing an Act for the renewal of the charter of the national bank, implied that the president could refuse to execute statutes that he felt were unconstitutional. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_119

In suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, President Abraham Lincoln claimed that he acted according to the oath. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_120

His action was challenged in court and overturned by the U.S. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_121

Circuit Court in Maryland (led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) in Ex Parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_122

144 (C.C.D. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_123

Md. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_124

1861). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_125

Lincoln ignored Taney's order. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_126

Finally, Andrew Johnson's counsel referred to the theory during his impeachment trial. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_127

Otherwise, few have seriously asserted that the oath augments the president's powers. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_128

The vice president also has an oath of office, but it is not mandated by the Constitution and is prescribed by statute. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_129

Currently, the vice presidential oath is the same as that for members of Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_130

Section 2: Presidential powers Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_9

In the landmark decision Nixon v. General Services Administration (1977), Justice William Rehnquist, afterwards the chief justice, declared in his dissent the need to "fully describe the preeminent position that the president of the United States occupies with respect to our Republic. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_131

Suffice it to say that the president is made the sole repository of the executive powers of the United States, and the powers entrusted to him as well as the duties imposed upon him are indeed a powerful and incredible responsibility but as well as a great honor." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_132

Unlike the modern constitutions of many other countries, which specify when and how a state of emergency may be declared and which rights may be suspended, the U.S. Constitution itself includes no comprehensive separate regime for emergencies. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_133

Some legal scholars according to The Atlantic believe however that the Constitution gives the president inherent emergency powers by making him commander in chief of the armed forces, or by vesting in him a broad, undefined “executive Power.” Congress has delegated at least 136 distinct statutory emergency powers to the President, each available upon the declaration of an emergency. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_134

Only 13 of these require a declaration from Congress; the remaining 123 are assumed by an executive declaration with no further Congressional input. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_135

Congressionally-authorized emergency presidential powers are sweeping and dramatic and range from seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_136

This led the magazine The Atlantic to observe that "the misuse of emergency powers is a standard gambit among leaders attempting to consolidate power", because, in the words of Justice Robert H. Jackson's dissent in Korematsu v. United States (1944), the decision that upheld the internment of Japanese Americans, each emergency power "lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_137

Clause 1: Command of military; Opinions of cabinet secretaries; Pardons Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_10

The Constitution vests the president with Executive Power. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_138

That power reaches its zenith when wielded to protect national security. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_139

And federal courts in the United States must pay proper deference to the Executive in assessing the threats that face the nation. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_140

The president is the military's commander-in-chief; however Article One gives Congress and not the president the exclusive right to declare war. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_141

Nevertheless, the power of the president to initiate hostilities has been subject to question. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_142

According to historian Thomas Woods, "Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 [...] has been interpreted 'The president has the power to initiate hostilities without consulting Congress' [....] But what the framers actually meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the president’s responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_143

Alexander Hamilton spoke in such terms when he said that the president, although lacking the power to declare war, would have "the direction of war when authorized or begun." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_144

The president acting alone was authorized only to repel sudden attacks (hence the decision to withhold from him only the power to "declare" war, not to "make" war, which was thought to be a necessary emergency power in case of foreign attack). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_145

Since World War II, every major military action has been technically a U.S. military operation or a U.N. "police action", which are deemed legally legitimate by Congress, and various United Nations Resolutions because of decisions such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or the Resolution of The Congress Providing Authorization for Use of Force In Iraq. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_146

The president may require the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender his advice in writing. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_147

While the Constitution nowhere requires a formal Cabinet, it does authorize the president to seek advice from the principal officers of the various departments as he (or she) performs their official duties. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_148

George Washington found it prudent to organize his principal officers into a Cabinet, and it has been part of the executive branch structure ever since. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_149

Presidents have used Cabinet meetings of selected principal officers but to widely differing extents and for different purposes. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_150

Secretary of State William H. Seward advocated the use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet government to President Abraham Lincoln, but was rebuffed. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_151

Later, Woodrow Wilson advocated use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet while he was a professor, but as president he would have none of it in his administration. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_152

In recent administrations, cabinets have grown to include key White House staff in addition to department and agency heads. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_153

President Ronald Reagan formed seven subcabinet councils to review many policy issues, and subsequent presidents have followed that practice. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_154

Pardons and reprieves may be granted by the president, except in cases of impeachment. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_155

There is currently no universally accepted interpretation of the impeachment exception. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_156

Some argue that the president simply cannot use a pardon to stop an officeholder from being impeached, while others suggest that crimes underlying an impeachment cannot be pardoned by the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_157

As ruled by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wilson (1833), the pardon could be rejected by the convict. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_158

Then, in Burdick v. United States (1915), the court specifically said, "Circumstances may be made to bring innocence under the penalties of the law. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_159

If so brought, escape by confession of guilt implied in the acceptance of a pardon may be rejected, preferring to be the victim of the law rather than its acknowledged transgressor, preferring death even to such certain infamy." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_160

Commutations (reduction in prison sentence), unlike pardons (restoration of civil rights after prison sentence had been served) may not be refused. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_161

In Biddle v. Perovich 274 U.S. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_162

(1927), the subject of the commutation did not want to accept life in prison but wanted the death penalty restored. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_163

The Supreme Court said, "[a] pardon in our days is not a private act of grace from an individual happening to possess power. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_164

It is a part of the Constitutional scheme. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_165

When granted it is the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by inflicting less than what the judgment fixed." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_166

Clause 2: Advice and Consent Clause Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_11

The president exercises the powers in the Advice and Consent Clause with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_167

Treaties Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_12

Main article: Treaty Clause Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_168

The president may enter the United States into treaties, but they are not effective until approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_169

In Article II however, the Constitution is not very explicit about the termination of treaties. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_170

The first abrogation of a treaty occurred in 1798, when Congress passed a law terminating a Treaty of Alliance (1778). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_171

In 1854, however, President Franklin Pierce terminated a treaty with Denmark with the consent of the Senate alone. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_172

A Senate committee ruled that it was correct procedure for the president to terminate treaties after being authorized by the Senate alone, and not the entire Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_173

President Pierce's successors, however, returned to the former procedure of obtaining authorization from both Houses. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_174

Some presidents have claimed to themselves the exclusive power of terminating treaties. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_175

The first unambiguous case of a president terminating a treaty without authorization, granted prior to or after the termination, occurred when Jimmy Carter terminated a treaty with the Republic of China. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_176

For the first time, judicial determination was sought, but the effort proved futile: the Supreme Court could not find a majority agreeing on any particular principle, and therefore instructed the trial court to dismiss the case. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_177

Appointments Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_13

Main article: Appointments Clause Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_178

The president may also appoint judges, ambassadors, consuls, ministers and other officers with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_179

By law, however, Congress may allow the president, heads of executive departments, or the courts to appoint inferior officials. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_180

The Senate has a long-standing practice of permitting motions to reconsider previous decisions. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_181

In 1931, the Senate granted advice and consent to the president on the appointment of a member of the Federal Power Commission. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_182

The officer in question was sworn in, but the Senate, under the guise of a motion to reconsider, rescinded the advice and consent. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_183

In the writ of quo warranto proceedings that followed, the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate was not permitted to rescind advice and consent after the officer had been installed. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_184

After the Senate grants advice and consent, however, the president is under no compulsion to commission the officer. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_185

It has not been settled whether the president has the prerogative to withhold a commission after having signed it. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_186

This issue played a large part in the seminal court case Marbury v. Madison. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_187

At times the president has asserted the power to remove individuals from office. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_188

Congress has often explicitly limited the president's power to remove; during the Reconstruction Era, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, purportedly preventing Andrew Johnson from removing, without the advice and consent of the Senate, anyone appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_189

President Johnson ignored the Act, and was later impeached and acquitted. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_190

The constitutionality of the Act was not immediately settled. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_191

In Myers v. United States, the Supreme Court held that Congress could not limit the president's power to remove an executive officer (the Postmaster General), but in Humphrey's Executor v. United States, it upheld Congress's authority to restrict the president's power to remove officers of the Federal Trade Commission, an "administrative body [that] cannot in any proper sense be characterized as an arm or an eye of the executive." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_192

Congress may repeal the legislation that authorizes the appointment of an executive officer. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_193

But it "cannot reserve for itself the power of an officer charged with the execution of the laws except by impeachment." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_194

Clause 3: Recess appointments Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_14

Main article: Recess appointment Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_195

During recesses of the Senate, the president may appoint officers, but their commissions expire at the conclusion of the Senate's next session. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_196

Section 3: Presidential responsibilities Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_15

Clause 1: State of the Union Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_16

The president must give the Congress information on the "State of the Union" "from time to time." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_197

This is called the State of the Union Clause. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_198

Originally, presidents personally delivered annual addresses to Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_199

Thomas Jefferson, who felt that the procedure resembled the speech from the throne delivered by British monarchs, chose instead to send written messages to Congress for reading by clerks. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_200

Jefferson's procedure was followed by future presidents until Woodrow Wilson reverted to the former procedure of personally addressing Congress, which has continued to this day. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_201

Kesavan and Sidak explain the purpose of the State of the Union clause: Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_202

Clause 2: Making recommendations to Congress Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_17

The president has the power and duty to recommend, for the consideration of Congress, such measures which the president deems as "necessary and expedient". Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_203

At his inauguration George Washington declared in his : "By the article establishing the executive department it is made the duty of the president 'to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.'" Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_204

This is the Recommendation Clause. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_205

Kesavan and Sidak explain the purpose of the Recommendation Clause: Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_206

Sidak explained that there is a connection between the Recommendation Clause and the Petition Clause of the 1st Amendment: "Through his performance of the duty to recommend measures to Congress, the president functions as the agent of a diffuse electorate who seek the redress of grievances. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_207

To muzzle the president, therefore, is to diminish the effectiveness of this right expressly reserved to the people under the first amendment." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_208

Kesavan and Sidak also cited a Professor Bybee who stated in this context: "The Recommendation Clause empowers the president to represent the people before Congress, by recommending measures for the reform of government, for the general welfare, or for the redress of grievances. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_209

The Right of Petition Clause prevents Congress from abridging the right of the people to petition for a redress of grievances." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_210

The Recommendation clause imposes a duty, but its performance rests solely with the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_211

Congress possesses no power to compel the president to recommend, as he alone is the "judge" of what is "necessary and expedient." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_212

Unlike the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, which limits Congress's discretion to carrying out only its delegated powers, the phrase "necessary and expedient" implies a wider range of discretion for the president. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_213

Because this is a political question, there has been little judicial involvement with the president's actions under the clause as long as presidents have not tried to extend their legislative powers. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_214

In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952), the Supreme Court noted that the Recommendations Clause serves as a reminder that the president cannot make law by himself: "The power to recommend legislation, granted to the president, serves only to emphasize that it is his function to recommend and that it is the function of the Congress to legislate." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_215

The Court made a similar point in striking down the line-item veto in Clinton v. City of New York (1998). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_216

When President Bill Clinton attempted to shield the records of the President's Task Force on Health Care Reform as essential to his functions under the Recommendations Clause, a federal circuit court rejected the argument and noted in Ass'n of American Physicians & Surgeons v. Clinton (1993): "[T]he Recommendation Clause is less an obligation than a right. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_217

The president has the undisputed authority to recommend legislation, but he need not exercise that authority with respect to any particular subject or, for that matter, any subject." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_218

Clause 3: Convening and adjourning of Congress Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_18

To allow the government to act quickly in case of a major domestic or international crisis arising when Congress is not in session, the president is empowered to call a special session of one or both houses of Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_219

Since John Adams first did so in 1797, the president has called the full Congress to convene for a special session on 27 occasions. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_220

Harry Truman was the most recent to do so in July 1948 (the so called "Turnip Day Session"). Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_221

Additionally, prior to ratification of the Twentieth Amendment (which brought forward the date on which Congress convenes from December to January) in 1933, newly inaugurated presidents would routinely call the Senate to meet to confirm nominations or ratify treaties. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_222

Clause 3 also authorizes the president to prorogue Congress if the House and Senate cannot agree on the time of adjournment; no president has ever had to exercise this administrative power. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_223

In 2020, President Donald Trump threatened to use this clause as a justification to prorogue both houses of Congress in order to make recess appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic, although he does not have the authority to do so unless either the Senate or the House of Representatives were to alter their scheduled adjournment dates. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_224

Clause 4: Receiving foreign representatives Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_19

The president receives all foreign ambassadors. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_225

This clause of the Constitution, known as the Reception Clause, has been interpreted to imply that the president possesses broad power over matters of foreign policy, and to provide support for the president's exclusive authority to grant recognition to a foreign government. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_226

Clause 5: Caring for the faithful execution of the law Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_20

The president must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_227

This clause in the Constitution imposes a duty on the president to enforce the laws of the United States and is called the Take Care Clause, also known as the Faithful Execution Clause or Faithfully Executed Clause. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_228

This clause is meant to ensure that a law is faithfully executed by the president even if he disagrees with the purpose of that law. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_229

Addressing the North Carolina ratifying convention, William Maclaine declared that the Faithful Execution Clause was "one of the [Constitution's] best provisions." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_230

If the president "takes care to see the laws faithfully executed, it will be more than is done in any government on the continent; for I will venture to say that our government, and those of the other states, are, with respect to the execution of the laws, in many respects mere ciphers." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_231

President George Washington interpreted this clause as imposing on him a unique duty to ensure the execution of federal law. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_232

Discussing a tax rebellion, Washington observed, "it is my duty to see the Laws executed: to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to [that duty.]" Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_233

According to former United States Assistant Attorney General Walter E. Dellinger III, the Supreme Court and the Attorneys General have long interpreted the Take Care Clause to mean that the president has no inherent constitutional authority to suspend the enforcement of the laws, particularly of statutes. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_234

The Take Care Clause demands that the president obey the law, the Supreme Court said in Humphrey's Executor v. United States, and repudiates any notion that he may dispense with the law's execution. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_235

In Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court explained how the president executes the law: "The Constitution does not leave to speculation who is to administer the laws enacted by Congress; the president, it says, "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Art. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_236

II, §3, personally and through officers whom he appoints (save for such inferior officers as Congress may authorize to be appointed by the "Courts of Law" or by "the Heads of Departments" with other presidential appointees), Art. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_237

II, §2." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_238

The president may not prevent a member of the executive branch from performing a ministerial duty lawfully imposed upon him by Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_239

(See Marbury v. Madison (1803); and Kendall v. United States ex rel. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_240

Stokes (1838).) Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_241

Nor may the president take an action not authorized either by the Constitution or by a lawful statute. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_242

(See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952).) Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_243

Finally, the president may not refuse to enforce a constitutional law, or "cancel" certain appropriations, for that would amount to an extra-constitutional veto or suspension power. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_244

Some presidents have claimed the authority under this clause to impound money appropriated by Congress. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_245

President Jefferson, for example, delayed the expenditure of money appropriated for the purchase of gunboats for over a year. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_246

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his successors sometimes refused outright to expend appropriated money. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_247

The Supreme Court, however, has held that impoundments without Congressional authorization are unconstitutional. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_248

It has been asserted that the president's responsibility in the "faithful" execution of the laws entitles him to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_249

Article One provides that the privilege may not be suspended save during times of rebellion or invasion, but it does not specify who may suspend the privilege. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_250

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress may suspend the privilege if it deems it necessary. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_251

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the privilege, but, owing to the vehement opposition he faced, obtained congressional authorization for the same. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_252

Since then, the privilege of the writ has only been suspended upon the express authorization of Congress, except in the case of Mary Surratt, whose writ was suspended by President Andrew Johnson regarding her alleged involvement in the assassination of President Lincoln. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_253

In Mississippi v. Johnson, 71 U.S. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_254

(1867), the Supreme Court ruled that the judiciary may not restrain the president in the execution of the laws. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_255

In that case the Supreme Court refused to entertain a request for an injunction preventing President Andrew Johnson from executing the Reconstruction Acts, which were claimed to be unconstitutional. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_256

The Court found that "[t]he Congress is the legislative department of the government; the president is the executive department. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_257

Neither can be restrained in its action by the judicial department; though the acts of both, when performed, are, in proper cases, subject to its cognizance." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_258

Thus, the courts cannot bar the passage of a law by Congress, though it may later strike down such a law as unconstitutional. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_259

A similar construction applies to the executive branch. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_260

Clause 6: Officers' commissions Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_21

The president commissions "all the Officers of the United States." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_261

These include officers in both military and foreign service. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_262

(Under Article I, Section 8, the States have authority for "the Appointment of the Officers . Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_263

. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_264

. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_265

of the [State] Militia . Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_266

. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_267

..") Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_268

The presidential authority to commission officers had a large impact on the 1803 case Marbury v. Madison, where outgoing Federalist President John Adams feverishly signed many commissions to the judiciary on his final day in office, hoping to, as incoming Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson put it, "[retire] into the judiciary as a stronghold." Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_269

However, in his haste, Adams' secretary of State neglected to have all the commissions delivered. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_270

Incoming President Jefferson was enraged with Adams, and ordered his secretary of State, James Madison, to refrain from delivering the remaining commissions. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_271

William Marbury took the matter to the Supreme Court, where the famous Marbury was decided. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_272

Section 4: Impeachment Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_22

Main article: Impeachment in the United States Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_273

The Constitution also allows for involuntary removal from office of the president, vice president, Cabinet secretaries, and other executive officers, as well as judges, who may be impeached by the House of Representatives and tried in the Senate. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_274

Any official convicted by the Senate is immediately removed from office, and the Senate may also order, by a simple majority, that the removed official be forever disqualified from holding any federal office. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_275

While no other punishments may be inflicted pursuant to the impeachment proceeding, the convicted party remains liable to trial and punishment in the courts for civil and criminal charges. Article Two of the United States Constitution_sentence_276

See also Article Two of the United States Constitution_section_23

Article Two of the United States Constitution_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article Two of the United States Constitution.