Constitutional Law and Presidential Lawyers

The President of the United States has a wide range of powers. These include the role of commander in chief, head of state, and chief law enforcement officer.


Article II of the Constitution grants the president a variety of executive powers, including the duty to see that all laws are faithfully executed and the power to appoint federal judges and principal executive officers (though this requires Senate approval). The President can also issue executive orders with the force of law but without Congress’s approval.

Article II

Article II of the Constitution lays out the powers and responsibilities of the president. It also establishes the qualifications for the presidency and explains the line of succession if the president or vice president is removed or no longer can serve in office.

The president appoints the heads of fifteen executive departments, as well as the heads of many independent federal commissions and other federal officials. He also commissions ambassadors and judges, among other public officials, and he has the power to pardon individuals.

Congress and the president have concurrent authority over some issues, notably those that involve national security or foreign affairs. However, Congress can impose restrictions on the president’s ability to exercise those powers.

One such restriction is Article II’s requirement that the President must notify Congress if he becomes unable to discharge his duties. If this is the case, Congress must decide the issue within four days of the President’s transmittal of his written declaration of inability.

Although this is a relatively simple provision, it creates a number of legal problems. First, it is unclear if the President’s “power of appointment” applies to officers he appoints to the executive branch in addition to those elected or appointed by Congress.

Similarly, there is no clear answer to the question of whether and under what circumstances a president may terminate a treaty he enters into without Senate approval. The Constitution does not specify when or how presidents can abrogate a treaty, and a variety of cases have addressed the question (Dames & Moore v. [Treasury Secretary Don] Regan, 453 U.S. 654, 1981).

Another Article II puzzle is the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes an executive privilege, or authority to keep parts of an agency’s records secret. Such documents may be important for determining whether a given issue is legitimate under the Constitution or if it needs to be resolved in the courts.

Finally, Section 4 of Article II allows for the removal of President, Vice President, and other civil officers who have been impeached and convicted of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. While the procedure has been used in the past to remove officers, it has not yet proved to be effective.

Section 3

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits public office holders who have taken an oath to support the Constitution and then engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or who give aid and comfort to enemies of the United States, from serving in public office. It applies to members of Congress, electors of president or vice president, and members of the civil service and military under the United States. It can be removed only by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress and cannot be lifted by a presidential pardon.

While the disqualification clause of Section 3 has a relatively limited history of enforcement, it was applied for the first time in more than a century after the attack on the United States Capitol Complex in January 2021. Several state officials and courts, federal prosecutors, and Congress itself have used a variety of legal processes to enforce the disqualification clause against those who participated in the attack.

The Framers of the Constitution understood that the President should be able to exercise power as commander-in-chief but must not act in ways that defy the law. This explains the President’s duty “to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” He should also not breach federal laws or order his subordinates to violate them, for this is considered an exercise of authority in excess of his powers under the Constitution.

Furthermore, Section 3 imposes an array of obligations on the President that are varied and significant. For example, the President must provide information to Congress on the “state of the Union” from time to time. He must receive and commission foreign ambassadors, and he must authenticate the status of federal officers.

There are many other obligations placed on the President in Section 3. These include a broad range of powers to appoint judges, ambassadors, consuls, ministers and other inferior officials with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Founders recognized that there was already sufficient legal infrastructure to enforce the disqualification clause, and that a clear statement from Congress would help settle open questions. The Select Committee should make factual and legal findings that it has uncovered disqualifying conduct, and that the existing legal processes are viable, appropriate avenues to enforce the disqualification clause where applicable, even in the absence of additional federal legislation.

Section 4

The Constitution gives the President of the United States a number of powers which he may exercise with the advice and consent of the Senate. Among these are directing the military forces, making treaties and appointing judges and public officials. However, he is not under any obligation to commission such officers.

In addition to Article Two, Section 4 of the Constitution includes provisions that govern presidential law. Specifically, this clause requires that the President receive the advice of the “principal officer” of each executive department and that he receive the advice of the Vice President, who is authorized to act in cases where the president is incapacitated or is dead. This requirement is often referred to as the Cabinet Clause, and it has been used by presidents throughout history.

Unless otherwise provided for by law, every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; and if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it with his Objections to that House in which it originated, who shall enter the same on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House agree to pass the Bill, it shall become a Law.

Since the time of its adoption, Section 4 of the Constitution has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Some interpreters have believed that it grants the president the right to initiate hostilities without a declaration from Congress, but this was not the original intent of the framers. In fact, they intended the President to have the power to declare war once he had received the advice of the Senate and the Vice President.

According to historian Thomas Woods, the framers’ intent was to give the President the responsibility to direct a war once it had been declared. As a result, the President’s power to initiate a war was limited, but he had a strong responsibility to be the commander-in-chief and lead the forces.

Section 5

Section 5 states that “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, Laws, and Justices, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, or Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority.” This provision gives presidential lawyers broad power in the courts to enforce this Constitution. It also imposes on the federal courts a duty to protect the public and the interests of the country.

The President is authorized to appoint judges and justices of the Supreme Court, as well as other officers of the federal government. These appointments must be approved by the Senate, and their terms of office must be set by statute. The Senate may reject a nomination within five legislative days after it is submitted to the body, or 25 legislative days after submission by the Governor. If the Senate has not acted on a nomination within 15 legislative days, any five members of the Senate may, in writing, request that the presiding officer of the Senate place the nomination before the entire Senate whereby it must be voted upon prior to the expiration of five legislative days or 25 legislative days following submission by the Governor, whichever occurs first.

In addition, the President has the power to appoint a Federal Chancellor as described in Article I of this Constitution, subject to the consent of the Bundestag. The Chancellor may also appoint officers, including ministers, and agents of the Federation and foreign governments. The Chancellor’s appointment does not entitle the Federal President to exercise the statutory authority for the appointment of a Federal Secretary of State, as provided in Article IV of this Constitution.

As the executive branch of the federal government, the President is authorized to appoint members of the Electoral College, as described in Article III of this Constitution. These members are apportioned among the States according to their numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

The President is also authorized to appoint representatives of the State to the Congress. These representatives are apportioned among the States in accordance with the same rules as are used for apportioning Senators and Representatives. The representatives are entitled to vote in elections for the Senate and House of Representatives.