A president who seeks to maintain power through the direct support of the American people is hardly what the framers had in mind; 1993.
Facts. The Line Item Veto Act gave the president the power to cancel certain spending provisions of congressionally enacted bills. The President had to adhere to specific procedures in exercising the veto, which he did so in this case: one section from of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and one section of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, leaving the remainder of each acts to be enacted.
Issue. Whether the Line Item Veto Act’s cancellation procedures violate the Presentment Clause of the Constitution.
Holding. Yes. The Supreme Court noted the key differences between the Veto Act and standard constitutional procedure. “The constitutional return takes place before the bill becomes law; the statutory cancellation occurs after the bill becomes law. The constitutional return is of the entire bill; the statutory cancellation is of only a part.” While the Court acknowledged that the Constitution didn’t specifically ban a line-item veto, it argued that it should construe “constitutional silence on this profoundly important issue as equivalent to an express prohibition.” While the Court acknowledged that the President acted within the statute, as Congress intended, “Congress cannot alter the procedures set out in Article I, Section:7, without amending the Constitution.” Dissent. The dissenting justices argued that the executive and the legislative branch were simply readjusting their powers with respect to each other, and neither was gaining or losing their powers appreciably. Concurrence. Justice Kennedy wrote his concurrence in response to the dissent, specifically that the separation of powers is all important.
United States v. Nixon, 1974
The main question of the case was whether the President of the United States has privileges that place him above the law.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon, a Republican, was running for reelection against Senator George McGovern, a Democrat. Five months before the election, an alert security guard found burglars in the Democratic Party headquarters, which was located in Washington's Watergate apartment complex. Reporters following the story connected the burglars to high-ranking officials in the White House. Nixon denied any connection to the break-in. However, an independent Congressional investigation revealed the existence of audiotapes of the President discussing the break-in with its organizers.
Nixon refused to turn the tapes over to Congress, claiming the tapes were covered by "executive privilege." He claimed that the President had the right to privileged communication that could not be looked at by any other branch of the government. The District Court ruled against Nixon. The President appealed and the case quickly reached the Supreme Court.
The Court's Decision
In July 1974, the Supreme Court decided unanimously that Nixon must hand over the tapes. The Court said that under the Constitution, the judiciary had the final voice, not the Executive branch. As for "executive privilege," the Court acknowledged that the President had a right to privileged communication where certain areas of national security were concerned. However, the Court stated that this case did not meet those conditions. Furthermore, the Court declared that no president is above the law. Nixon handed over the tapes that revealed that he had personally engaged in the cover-up of the burglary. Within a few days, Congress began impeachment proceedings against the President for his actions. Rather than face the impeachment hearings, Nixon resigned from office.
Who could rebuild the ice skating rink in Central Park more efficiently and quickly than the city government? The Donald, of course: 1989.
The executive branch bureaucracy executes the federal government's many programs and policies, but how well and what could be improved?: 2008
Here is the PDF version of the phone call that President Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019.
In this Federalist Paper, Alexander Hamilton argues for a strong executive leader, as provided for by the Constitution, as opposed to the weak executive under the Articles of Confederation. He asserts, “energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks…to the steady administration of the laws, to the protection of property…to justice; [and] to the security of liberty….”
Though some had called for an executive council, Hamilton defended a single executive as “far more safe” because “wherever two or more persons are engaged in any common…pursuit, there is always danger of difference of opinion…bitter dissensions are apt to spring. Whenever these happen, they lessen the respectability, weaken the authority.” Hamilton also argued that a single executive would be watched “more narrowly” and vigilantly by the people than a group of people would be.