Monday, October 22, 2007


Article II, Section 1, "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

Probably the best know Article of the Constitution, Article II which established the Presidency is one of the most misunderstood and in some cases the most scrutinized as it out lines the authority, responsibilities and so called, "powers," of the most powerful individual in the world, the President of The United States of America.

The President is elected directly by the people which in itself is a singular identification for a national leader in the world. Monarchy's follow a blood line or an ascension if that blood line no longer exists when there if no heir to the throne. Prime Ministers as Heads of State are chosen from the majority party of the particular Parliament who were elected by the people. Dictators are chosen through their own means whether by over throwing a reigning government or simply killing a leader and taking their place. In some instances as in Nazi Germany a dictator rises to power through a parliamentary process and then eliminates all other power but his own.

The President of the United States is elected to office directly by the people every four years and as such is also directly accountable to and responsible to the citizens who elected him. While in certain circumstances he must report to the Congress he ultimately answerable and responsible to the people.

This election process by the people determines the voting of the Electoral College which consists of members appointed from each state who gather after the General Election to vote for the President in accordance to assignment by the state which is decided by the vote of the people. Most states have a winner takes all approach with Electors. Only Maine and Nebraska assign Electors in accordance to Congrerssional districts in determined by the popular vote of that district which splits Electors in candidate assignment.

The Presidential responsibilities lie mainly in the preservation and protection of the Constitution which emcompasses much. His very oath of office which is taken directly from the Constitution out lines the primary responsibility of the President. "I (stating name), do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

"Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." While this is the primary responsibility of the President it is at times also the most controversial since it involves in most instances his use of the military as Commander in Chief as well as intelligence agencies whose very purpose is the secretive gathering of information to allow the CIC to make the best decision in the protection of the nation.

The protective responsibilities and authority of the President are not out lined in detail in the Constitution since the Founders could not have know the ramifications that the future could bring to the powers of the President.

As Commander in Chief he is the sole civilian authority for the military and as such he alone is responsible for the military, "when called into the actual Service of the United States" This authority consists of all command decisions which include deployment, strategy, execution of that strategy, and all aspect of command and control while the military is in action.

While the Constitution states that he may, "require the opinion," with the key word being, "opinion, " from , " the principle officer in each of the executive Departments, " the President bares sole authority for the use of and the action of the military. He must report to Congress concerning the use of and the actions of the military in time of war, or other hostilities, but he alone is the responsibile party of the government and the Congress had no authority concerning military matters other than provision and maintenance.

Another source of contention in Article III is the establishment of what has become known as the Electoral College. Especially in light of the 2000 election there has been considerable controversy over the College and calls for amending the Constitution for its elimination.

The Founders original intent with the Electoral process which is still very valid today was to prevent the election of a President solely by the most populace cities and states in the Union so that every state through the election process could have a voice in the election of the President. Without the electors even today the most populace states like California, New York and Florida to name a few would by the size of their population alone give cause for campaigns to visit these states only and when the final tally was in on election night these few states would decide the Presidency.

The Electoral process allows for lesser populated states to have an equal voice in the election of a President as that of the more populace states which makes for the election of a President by the entire country instead of a few choice populated states.

The President is given Constitution authority for the appointment of Ambassadors, Department Heads and all federal courts which includes the Supreme Court. This appointment is with the, "advise and consent, " of the Senate which means exactly what it says. It is not the responsibility of the Senate to force a Presidential appointment to a two thirds vote in order to block an appointment. The two thirds vote applies in accordance with the Constitution only for the implementation of treaties negotiated by the President.

The advise and consent responsibility of the Senate is solely to review with the President the appointees qualifications and not to block or eliminate the Presidential authority for this appointment.

If this were not the case then the next paragraph of the Constitution would not allow the President the authority to make appointments while the Senate was in recess. While this appointment expires at the end of a particular session of Congress it does place emphasis that the sole authority for appointment is that of the President and not the Senate.

The President is also responsible to the law. As such the Founders instituted the ability to impeach and remove a President from office. Most believe that these two actions are one in the same. They are not. Impeachment is undertaken by the House of Representatives who if presented with indictments of, "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, " by the President then present to the full House Articles for Impeachment and after debate vote for or against.This does not remove a President from office.

The Senate then places the same indictments and President on public trial with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as the presiding officer of the court and if found guilty the President then is removed from office. Two President's have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but when tried in the Senate were not removed from office.

The President of The United States while a singularly powerful Executive office for the people of this nation has by design of the Constitution checks and balances through being responsible to the people first and reporting to the Congress, which prevent the Presidency from becoming a dictatorial office or a monarchy. This also is a distinct reminder of the freedom of our Republic as no one man though the most powerful in the world can trample the rights and liberties of the citizens of our nation.

Ken Taylor