Presidential Powers Essay

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Kaire Colwell Midterm Extra Credit Assignment Presidential Powers Scholars have written heavily on the” two presidencies.” The second presidency which is concerned with foreign affairs and international relations is less susceptible to constitutional and political restraints. Throughout American history, Congress, the courts, and the American public have been highly differential to the president in the conduct of foreign policy. In U.S. v. Curtis-Wright Export Corporation (1936) the Supreme Court placed its stamp of approval on presidential primacy in the realm of foreign affairs when it referred the president as the “sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations.” Since this landmark case there has been an implicit understanding that the president has great latitude in the field of foreign affairs. Article II of the Constitution enumerates two specific powers of the presidency in foreign affairs. The first enumerated power is the president’s ability to receive ambassadors and emissaries from foreign nations. In effect, this provides the president the power to recognize the legitimate governments of foreign nations. The second enumerated power allows the president to make treaties with foreign nations, subject to the consent of the Senate. However, the president can circumvent Senate approval through the use of executive agreements which are similar to treaties the only difference is that they are less formal and do not require Senate approval. The major power of the presidency in foreign affairs is the wartime powers. Article II recognizes the president as commander in chief. As commander in chief, the president is responsible to protect U.S. allies and interests, maintain national security against possible attack, or defend the nation against actual attack through the use of military force. The broad powers the president is
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