CP Government Chapter 7 - Executive Branch

What are the six presidential roles?

chief of state
- ceremonial head of US gov't
- represents US at nonpolitical events
- ex. Trump visited US Embassy in Paris to honor WWII veterans
chief executive
- enforces laws passed by Congress
- ex. Trump announced building of border wall to enforce

What are the qualifications for becoming a president?

- 35+ years old on inauguration
- be a natural born citizen
- lived 14+ years in the US (does not have to be consecutive)

What was the president's term limits before and after the 22nd Amendment?

- no term limit
- Washington set tradition of stepping down after 2 terms
- FDR won 4 elections (died early in 4th term)
- 22nd Amendment limits to 2 terms or 10 years

What do the 25th Amendment and Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outline?

25th Amendment
if presidency becomes vacant:
- VP becomes president
- Constitution said that responsibilities devolved to VP
- appoints a new VP
if VP becomes vacant:
- historically, VP is left vacant
- now, president appoints a new VP
- simple majority v

What are primary elections?

the general public indicates its preferred candidates
- narrows down the candidates that have a chance at winning
- not an actual election
- usually held the summer before the election

What are the three major duties of national political party conventions

- nominate candidates for president and VP
- ratify party platform
- elect officers

How did the 12th Amendment change the electoral college?

president and VP now have separate ballots
- prevented a president from having a VP form a different political party

In the electoral college:
- total electors?
- total electors per state?
- # of electoral votes needed to win?
- who chooses electors?
- does popular vote matter?

- 538 total electors
- electors per state = # of reps + # of senators
- DC gets three electoral votes
- 270 to win (if no majority, House chooses president, Senate chooses VP)
- state legislatures choose electors
- popular vote in states matter, they dete

What are the three major arguments against the electoral college?

- winning the popular vote does not mean winning the presidency
- electors do not have to vote in accordance to how their states vote
- if a majority is not reached, Congress chooses the president

What is the most popular reform idea for the electoral college? Why will it never be implemented?

direct popular vote
- this would require a constitutional amendment
- 2/3 of states must vote for an amendment, 3/4 of states must ratify
- smaller states would not want to give up their electoral power

What are the five general powers of the president?


What are some of the president's executive powers?

appointment power, can appoint:
- ambassadors
- cabinet members
- agency heads
- federal judges
- military officers
appointments must be confirmed by simple majority vote in Senate
removal power
- can remove all of them except judges (they serve for life)

What are some of the president's diplomatic powers?

power of recognition
- can formally recognize countries as legitimate
- can get first dibs in trading, forming alliances
treaty power
- can make treaties with other countries
- 2/3 vote in Senate needed to approve treaties

What are some of the president's military powers?

undeclared war-making power
- can commit troops abroad without formal declaration of war (called police actions)
- has been done 100s of times by virtually all presidents
- ex. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan
powers restricted by War Powers Resolution A

What are some of the president's legislative powers?

power to recommend
- can urge Congress to follow through with an agenda
line-item veto
- president signs parts of a bill, vetoes the rest of it
- Clinton v. NYC (1998) - ruled unconstitutional
signing statement
- president signs a bill into law and includ

What are some of the president's judicial powers?

- pardon: shields a person from prosecution or sentencing
- amnesty: pardon for a general group of people
- reprieve: postponement of prosecution or sentencing
- commutation: changes a sentence, usually lessening it (commutation is the most commonly used)

Where did the cabinet come from? How many cabinet positions are there today?

George Washington established the cabinet with 4 positions:
- secretary state
- department of the treasury
- department of defense
- department of justice
15 positions today

How does a person become a cabinet member?

appointed by president
confirmed by simple majority in Senate

What are the two main duties of cabinet members?

- give advice to the president
- lead respective department