ABC-CLIO Database: American Government
Time Period: Executive Branch
Topic: Powers of the Presidency
Process: Collect and Organize Information
Inquiry Question: What are the specific powers of the executive branch?
Objectives: Students will collect and organize information from the provided primary and secondary sources to summarize the powers of the presidency and how those powers interact with the legislative and judicial branches.
What students will discover in the sources: The instructional video introduces and outlines the executive powers of the president and explains how they intersect with those of Congress and the Senate. The Powers of the President table breaks down the specific powers of the president as described in Article II, Sections 2 and 3 of the U.S. Constitution and illustrates that in addition to executive powers, the president also functions as a head of state and has some symbolic roles. The essay on the War Powers Act of 1973 provides a concrete example of a congressional effort to limit the president's war-making powers to ensure more legislative control of the military. The video clip of Warren Burger, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1969 to 1986, explains the significance of Marbury v. Madison (1803) and provides an overview of how the division of power between the three branches of government works as a check on presidential power. Finally, the audio clip of President Gerald Ford announcing his pardon of Richard Nixon for crimes the former president may have committed while in office illustrates the power of the president to pardon independent from Congress, although with limitations. Together, these resources provide context for the specific primary powers of the president and how those powers interact with the legislative and judicial branches.