President's Formal Domestic Powers

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To begin with I shall assess the president’s formal domestic powers. These are found in the Constitution and are the most basic and fundamental powers used to influence legislation. Such powers include the veto, appointments and introducing legislation through the State of the Union Addresses. These give the Whitehouse control and access to a wide spread of vantage points in the political system (Neustadt, 2003: 214). To start, the veto means that the president can temporarily and sometimes permanently change the passage of a bill and prevent it from going into law, as Woodrow Wilson said; it is this power that is ‘beyond all comparison’ (Richard, 1998: 37). The veto is an effective way for the president to prevent congress form exercising…show more content…
This is the first key example of the president’s formal power being truly undermined by congress, showing it is not as effective as it is perceived in the Constitution. Therefore the executive and legislative branch must find a compromise where by both of them are satisfied with the outcome, allowing the president the ability to make some difference to the bill, and successfully using their formal powers. Another formal domestic power the president has is the power to appoint. The Constitution says that the president may appoint those to the Supreme Court and to other ‘principle offices’ giving them large scope for selecting those ideologically similar to them into office (Fairlie, 1903: 191). Especially as federal judges have tenure meaning their influence will last for many years after the president has left office, this is a lasting power and is one of the greatest formal ones of the president. For example a federal judge can help to continue a controversial programme such as Guantanamo even after the president has left office or can help the president to shut it down if the decision goes to the Supreme Court. (Gerhardt, 2000:

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