Executive Power under the Constitution
Articles,  Blog

Executive Power under the Constitution


People often say they want a strong president who can get things done. But that’s pretty much the exact opposite of what the founding fathers set up under the Constitution. Because of their experience with colonial governors and the who ruled with almost complete and total authority, the Founding generation was determined to limit the power of the executive branch. They certainly didn’t want a president who could make law with the stroke of a pen. As Revolutionary War general John Sullivan put it, “I can by no means consent to lodging too much power in the hands of one person.” So to ensure the president wouldn’t rule over the United States like the colonial governors had done, the framers of the constitution carefully separated legislative and executive powers. James Madison described this in a paper known as “Helvidius” Number 1. He wrote: “The natural province of the executive magistrate is to execute laws, as that of the legislature is to make laws. All his acts therefore, properly executive, must pre-suppose the existence of the laws to be executed.” Under the Constitution, the President was not meant to be all-powerful. And the founders set up the system to prevent such a thing from happening.

5 Comments

  • Professor Shekelstein

    Executive orders must follow the 2nd article in the Constitution. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, for example, was constitutional. When we have President's who say anything they can sign is Constitutional, where does it end?

  • GunClingingPalin

    So if Trump could sign an Executive order to hang all the traitors, like Hillary said "We are all going to hang", we would just have to round them up and hang them right? or maybe the people could nullify it by not complying?.. hmm.. Well I for one would strap on my boots and get the Gallows in working order. I'm a little old to be going out and rounding them up, that could be left to the younger folks. I suppose I could run a back hoe and do some mass grave diggings.. MyBad eh? srry had 2 vent a bit.

  • Silence Dogood

    This is a little ambiguous…. Need more information on how Obama got away with just using his pen. How did this happen and why couldn't it be stopped? What went wrong with the enforcement process to stop Obama? Can you make a video explaining how the executive office was able to circumvent the Constitution?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *