Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 22 - 22 of 53

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Question 22


Describe in Detail


Discuss sources of President՚s Powers of USA.


Some sources are as follows:

  • Constitution: In the first place the original constitution confers certain powers and privileges on the President.
  • Supreme Court՚s decision: In the second place, the Supreme Court enhanced his authority in all those cases in which the constitution was not clear. As for example, the constitution clearly prescribed the methods for making appointments to various Federal offices but was silent about the mode of their removal. The power of removal of all Federal officials was then vested in the President by the Supreme Court. Then the constitution authorized the congress to declare war, but power to terminate war, was not clearly vested in any part of the Federal Government. By the verdict of the Supreme Court, this power too was vested in the president.
  • Statutes of Congress: A substantial part of presidential powers has been derived from the statutes of the Congress assigning certain powers and responsibility to him either directly or through implication. Laws are generally passed by the congress in broad outlines and details therein are left to be filled in by the executive orders of the President. The congress may also bestow upon him the exercise of wide discretionary powers. As for example, in 1933, the congress vested in the President the discretionary powers to reduce gold contents of the dollar, etc.
  • Convention and Usage: The powers of the President have also been increased through conventions and usages. As for example, the convention of Senatorial Courtesy with respect to appointments has virtually placed in the hands of the President unfettered powers regarding all appointments. Likewise, he is accepted as the leader of his party and as such conceded the right to be consulted on all matters affecting the interest of his party inside and outside the Congress. The President can get laws passed according to his wishes by the use of extra-constitutional methods like threat of veto or appeal to the nation through radio and television. Thus, he is the chief legislator by usage.
  • Emergency: Lastly, the powers of the President increased enormously during emergencies. The President, for example, had almost dictatorial powers, during the two World Wars.
  • Ferguson and Mac Henry are of the view that much of the President՚s authority accrues by virtue of factors beyond the formal powers. Prestige as chief representative of the American people and as the leader of the political party, makes him a strong leader if he chooses the role and has the personal qualities to fill it.

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