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The Four Theories Of Presidential Power

922 words - 4 pages

There are four theories of presidential power. Each of the four theories describes the nature and scope of presidential power in a different view.
Constitutional Theory: Holds that Article II of the constitution contains a record of executive powers and the president must be prepared at all times to justify his or her actions either on the basis of the record of the powers contained in Article II or on implied powers (Mason & Stephenson, 2012).
Stewardship Theory: Implies that the president is a “steward of the people” and is deemed responsible to do anything that the needs of the nation deem necessary unless it is in violation of the constitution (Mason & Stephenson, 2012).
Unitary Executive Theory: This theory grants the president control over the executive members and his power is only restricted by the constitution. The Unitary Executive Theory draws its basis from the coordination of construction initially spoke of by Thomas Jefferson and reinforced by some later presidents. Thomas Jefferson was an influential framer of the constitution and his opinions were often those of many of the framers. The framers of the constitution believed the President was elected to interpret and apply the constitution to the best interest of constituents. The framers also believed Congress was elected to support the president and the beliefs set forth by the constitution. This theory reinforces that all three branches of the Federal Government have a responsibility to enforce the constitution not just the president (Mason & Stephenson, 2012).
Prerogative Theory: Is the power to act according to the discretion of the public good, without the regard for the law or even possibly against the law.
The president is given several inherent powers as described in the constitution. The Framers placed a high priority on the executive duties of the president. One of the most important powers the president is granted in the constitution is the power to appoint people to fill high level positions within the administration. All appointments are subject to approval by the Senate. The constitution does not specifically establish a budgetary process. The ambiguity of the constitution has allowed presidents over time to bring much of the budgetary process under their control. The power to control the budgetary process is one of the most important administrative prerogatives of the president. This allows him to control how much and where monies are spent. Law Enforcement is another one of the roles of the president. The constitution requires the president to ensure that all laws of be faithfully executed. If the need should arise the president can deploy the armed forces including state militia’s to enforce laws if the need should arise. The framers of the constitution specifically included the power of clemency in the constitution. The clemency...

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