Increasing the President's Power

Increasing the President's Power

Increasing the President's Power

Increasing the President's Power

Excerpt

The granting to President Roosevelt of wide unprecedented powers, on the plea of national emergency by the Special Session of the Seventy-third Congress, has tended to direct attention to the authority and prerogatives vested in the Presidency in the American system of government. The powers delegated, altho limited in time and dealing with certain questions, are unique in peace-time grant of authority, and have, for the moment, given to the President practically dictatorial powers.

The American Presidency was intended by the makers of our Constitution to be one of three coordinated branches of government; to be concerned primarily with executive powers and not to encroach on legislative or judicial functions. The original conception has under- gone modification, and, in course of time, presidential power has been augmented. Widened powers have accrued to it thru custom and practice. It has been broadened by act of Congress. Strong presidents have discovered new potentialities of power in the office within Constitutional limits, or have even overstepped such limits. In emergencies and national crises, such as war, the powers have been considerably increased. In practice, the President may wield influence thru executive orders that have the force of law, he may propose, shape, and veto legislation, he may make appointments to to important offices, including his Cabinet, and may influence major policies in connection with them. He may wield leadership over his own political party and to an important extent exert authority over Congress or obtain its sympathy and cooperation. On the other hand, a president lacking in the qualities of personal leader-

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