Research Paper: American Government Should the President

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American Government

Should the President of the United States have authority to remove officials that the U.S. Senate has confirmed?

A bit of government history is needed here to make this answer complete. The Congress of the United States passed the Tenure of Office Act, and notwithstanding the veto of President Andrew Johnson, two-thirds of the Senate overruled Johnson's veto. And when Johnson went ahead and removed the secretary of war without the consent of Congress -- he was nearly impeached from office. That act was repealed in 1887.

In 1926, according to the Supreme Court decision, Myers vs. United States, ruled that it is unconstitutional to require the consent of the Senate to remove non-cabinet officials. I believe if the Senate had to approve the president's decision to remove a high official, it would create even more logjams and chaos in Washington than there are now. It would be a bad idea.

There are those in Congress today (particularly in the House of Representatives -- specifically those adhering to "tea party" values) who would (and often do) attempt to stymie President Barack Obama at every turn. Much of the legislation Obama has passed did not receive very many Republican votes (some legislation got zero support from the GOP), and in fact some members of the GOP in Congress have said their number one goal is defeating Obama in 2012. Most Republicans have shown through their rhetoric and their actions that they goals do not including creating more jobs, or helping reform healthcare, or dealing with energy issues, but rather, in blocking anything Obama proposes. Hence, giving Congress the power to oversee those the president would like to remove from high positions would create even more partisan bickering and polarization.

Are some of the Executive Orders issues by presidents an overstepping of their authority? The answer is yes, in particular EO 9066. This was done during a time of hysteria over World War II after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Giving the military the authority to seize Japanese-Americans that were living within 60 miles from the West coast and place them into internment camps was an outrageous seizing of power by the executive branch. It is very doubtful that this kind of arbitrary seizing of power and rounding up Americans of a particular nationality or ethnicity could happen again.

The EO 13228 (Homeland Security) is quite a bit different, albeit it was also passed in the time right after an emotional war-related act, the 9/11 attacks. Congress in fact authorized the Homeland Security act and EO 13228 was just an executive order setting up the task force on preparedness for the war on terrorism. Meantime, the Patriot Act of 2001 in fact took away rights of privacy and imposed a law that was very anti-democratic, and Congress actually passed this and it was not an executive order, but it was bad legislation. The president should not have the right to send young men to Vietnam based on executive orders nor should he have the right to reinstate the draft. In these matters Congress (slow to move though it often is) needs to be the power that makes these authorizations. The EO 11110 was signed by President Kennedy and it gave the U.S. Treasury Dept. The right to issue… [END OF PREVIEW]

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American Government Should the President.  (2012, March 12).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-government-president/5910122

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"American Government Should the President."  Essaytown.com.  March 12, 2012.  Accessed July 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-government-president/5910122.