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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 06:46 AM
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The twelve powers of a President.

Original Content at

June 22, 2007

The twelve powers of a President.

By Ed Martin

The President of the United States is in all respects a creation of our Constitution. The position of President is created by Article ll. Sections two and three are the only place in the Constitution that define a President and his powers and duties. They consist of just 317 words which can be condensed to just twelve items of 129 words:

l. Be commander in chief of the Army and Navy when called into service.

2. Require the opinion of the principal officer in each executive department.

3. Have power to grand reprieves and pardons.

4. Make treaties.

5. Nominate and appoint ambassadors, judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States.

6. Fill up all vacancies during the recess of the Senate.

7. Give to Congress information of the state of the union.

8. Recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

9. On extraordinary occasions convene both Houses, or either of them.

10. Receive ambassadors and other public ministers.

11. Take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

12. Commission all the officers of the United States.

There you have it, the complete list of the constitutional duties of the President. The Constitution doesn't say anything about his power to veto legislation. Article l, Section 7 allows him to return to Congress, within 10 days, any bills he doesn't approve of, with his objections. It would be interesting to know if he has done this with the bills he has supposedly "vetoed." If he didn't, they automatically become law.

Take a look at those twelve items that a president is limited to doing and consider the following list of things that George Bush has been involved in and all the candidates are spouting off about:

Abortion, budget, economy, civil rights, corporations, crime, drugs, education, energy, oil, environment, families, children, foreign policy, free trade, government reform, gun control, health care, homeland security, immigration, jobs, principles, values, social security, tax reform, technology, war, peace, welfare and poverty.

Notice that none of the above items are included in the list of twelve items the president is limited to doing. George Bush has been doing and all the candidates have been talking about doing things which are completely outside a president's powers and duties, and which they are constitutionally prohibited from doing. In other words, they're talking nonsense. They're talking about things, which as president, they have no business sticking their noses in. They have a right to their personal opinion on these matters, but that's all it is.

Notice, also, that the twelve powers of a president does not include, as George Bush claims, any such thing as executive privilege, the unitary executive or signing statements. He has no constitutional authority to claim those things. Item five says that he can appoint officers of the United States, such as US attorneys, and item two says he can ask for their opinion. But, that's all he can do. Nowhere in the twelve items is he given the power to fire them.

It would be enlightening if someone would ask Bush or any of the candidates, "What are the twelve constitutional powers of a president?" I'd be willing to bet that neither Bush nor any of the candidates could recite the short list of twelve things that a president, by law, has the power to do. And, I'll bet that none of them understand that a president is limited to doing just those twelve things.

The most significant evidence that the United States has come to completely misunderstand what a president is, is that Bush nor any of the candidates are asked any questions about the twelve powers that a president can actually do, and it's doubtful that, even if asked, any of them could answer.

We have a President and candidates who want to be President who are completely in the dark about what it means to be the President of the United States.

Authors Bio: Ed Martin is an unindicted curmudgeon. He is not a Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, deist, atheist, or a member of any -ism.
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Homer Wells Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 06:52 AM
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1. As a fellow curmudgeon, and acknowledged Geezer
I must heartily endorse Ed Martin's viewpoint.

Kicked and Recommended!!!

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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Don't forget that the Legislative Branch is found in Article I while
the Executive Branch is found in Article II
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