Let’s do a basic civics review of the Presidency, which is the federal government’s Executive Branch.
- Must be at least 35 years old
- Natural born citizen of the United States
- Must be a resident of the United States for the past 14 years
Term of Service:
- Four years
- Two-term limit
Note: the Founding Fathers wanted a two-term limit, but George Washington was originally against it. Having served two terms, he stepped down, setting a precedent of two terms in office. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms during wartime but died in the 4th term. The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951, established the two-term limit for the Presidency.
Presidential Powers and Duties:
-Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; gives the orders and specific regulations (Congress makes the basic rules)
-Signs into law or vetoes bills passed by Congress
-Head of the Cabinet (they advise the President and administer the various departments)
-Pardon offenses in all federal cases except impeachment
-Makes treaties under the advisement and consent of the Senate (approval of 2/3 of the Senate required)
-Appoints the Supreme Court Justice, federal judges, ambassadors, cabinet members with Senate approval
-Gives the State of the Union report annually
-Enforces federal laws (faithfully executes all laws of the United States)
-Can recommend legislation but cannot introduce legislation
-Can call an emergency session of Congress
-Indirect vote; citizens cast ballots for electors to represent their choice for President and Vice-President in the electoral college;
-The electoral college is composed of representatives chosen by the people; these electors vote directly for the President and Vice-President; this serves as a state check on federal power; allows smaller states to participate in choosing the President
The President can be impeached by the House and tried by the Senate bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors. If convicted, the President is removed from office, and the Vice-President completes the term in office.
-Must meet the same qualifications and requirements as the President
-Serves as President of the Senate and votes in case of a tie
-Becomes President if the office is unable to serve for any reason
The Vice-President was originally the second-highest vote-getter in the Electoral College when our country began. Then John Adams won the Presidency, and Thomas Jefferson, his rival, won the second-highest number of votes. The “push and pull” of their differences during the Adams presidency gave rise to the 12th Amendment, which provides for separate ballots for President and Vice-President.
Other Members of the Executive Branch:
-White House staff
-Cabinet and their departments
-Executive offices and councils
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??
*Next on Simple Civics 101, we’ll review basics about the federal government’s judicial branch.