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If the issue of signing statements were to reach the Supreme Court, what are the Justices likely to rule? Why?- If a case were to reach the high court the Justices are likely to invoke the precedent of Clinton v. New York that states that the President cannot engage in legislative activity- it violated the presentment clause by the use of a line-item veto. Thus, by stating which parts of laws will and will not be enforced, the President is engaging in legislative activity. Unlike vetoes, signing statements are not part of the legislative process as set forth in the Constitution, and have no legal effect. A signed law is still a law regardless ofwhat the President says in an accompanying signing statement. Cannot use signing statements as line item vetoes – I think the courts would agree that these statements have no legal effect and should be ignored. Signing statements should not be allowed to result in legislative cherry picking. No check on signing statements, which means it, has potentially damaging implications for the separation of powers. DeCosta V. Nixon: He then refused to enforce section 601 of the Amendment. Courts rule that Nixon's signature made it law and that it couldn't be construed differently. Court has not ruled directly on this issue because of lack of standing How might Congress counter the President’s powers in diplomatic situations?- Power of the purse: Can deny funding for military operations, Operations of foreign policy must be funded so congress has the power to cut or increase aid for a foreign project, Congress can set restrictions on the length of time American troops are deployed during an international crisis by refusing to pay for them beyond a certain date- Advice and consent of Congress: Hold political appointees hostage in an attempt to gain leverage /Congress can outlaw U.S. assistance to X country for some purpose. Boland Amendment/ Senate can refuse to ratify treaties / Impeachment – threaten to do so if President violates War Powers Resolution Act How would the recent Court decision on recess appointments change the nomination process?- Noel Canning v. NLRB - Said a "recess" only occurs between Congresses: Limit President’s ability to make recess appointments, hence giving Senate/Congress more power because they can take political hostages - Failing to approve a Presidential nominee for political reasons other than the actual quality or positions of the nominee. Increased number of political hostages in Senate, Congress stay in session all the time, President says he can do it if they are away from Washington for a long time, Very narrow circumstances – takes away ability to do short break ones – Congress will try to extend their session. If the court deems them to be unconstitutional, any action the appointee had done would be undone and anything appointee did would be undone Do the “5 dynamics” seem applicable to this President at this time? Why?- Coward of Congress does not seem to apply – They are challenging him – Rand Paul Filibuster - Constant war – expands Presidential power – rally around singular president than institution of war. People want one leader. - Media/Technology – President has edge, singular voice, Congress viewed as one institution, bully pulpit, call press conferences whenever he wants, social media – First tech president - -Obama is known for being a very charismatic speaker, he was comparedto JFK during the 2008 campaign. He was able to mobilize the youth vote by appealing to the younger generations through his useof technology. Through his social media networks he makes it seem like he is “one of us” so to say by making the language of his emails, fb posts, and tweets very casual. Recently, Obama’s relationship with the media has been strained due to his low approval ratings, it will be interesting to see how the media responds to him during the campaign.- Little guidance from the Courts – allowing delegations – historically favored strong executive war power - Kucinich v. Obama deals with Obama's refusal to remove troops from Libya after the 60 day period. Obama asserts that he has the power as commander-in-chief to define what a war is. He says that because he hasn't classified the conflict in Libya as a war, the War Powers Act doesn't apply, and he can keep the troops there for as long as he wants. – Issue of standing - Presidential control of information – executive privilege – Drones What powers do you think are encompassed in “Commander-in-Chief? Why?- Personally, I am in favor of increased Presidential war powers because I think a unitary executive can evaluate threats, consider policy choices, and mobilize national resources with a speed and efficiency that is far superior to any other branch. - I think there are broad inherent powers included as part of Article II, Section 2. These powers as commander-in-chief give thePresident broad constitutional authority to use military force in response to threats to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S, ability to make Executive Agreement, Power of Executive Privilege- President should be allowed to disclose informationif the President fears it would compromise national security / Power to repel sudden attacks, power to respond to anyone or thing affiliated with 9/11 under AUMFWhat sets an “executive agreement” apart from a treaty?No senate approval is needed /Ends when one of the executives involved in the agreement leaves office/ If Congress does not like an executive agreement then they will not fund it/ One of the problems with an executive agreement is that it conflicts with joint decision making emphasized in the constitution/ A treaty required senate approval and therefore the president’s decision is influenced by political factors. Agreement has been affirmed in U.S. V. Belmont - Why do Presidents benefit from “Omnibus” bills?What happens if all 13 appropriations bills do not get passed by end fiscal year: Budget Impasse – bills have not been passed options – 1) continuing resolution – current spending, 2) shut down the government, 3) omnibus bill – one piece of legislation contained 2 or more impasse funding bills - Members know little about bill because of time constraint / Political conscience – better to get in trouble for voting minor in it than voting against entire thing/ Large bill that members do not have access to until the last minute. This leads to uncertainty

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U of M POLSCI 389 - Notes

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