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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:57 AM
Original message
Powers of the President of the United States
Since Obama is a Constitutional scholar, I thought it might be a good idea to see exactly what the Constitution says the president should be doing ...
Article II Section 2. The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.


The powers defined for Congress by the Constitution are as follows ...
Article I Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Article I Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.


The powers defined for the Supreme Court by the Constitution are as follows ...
Article III Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.


The reason why I posted all this is to find out from the DU legal minds just who's responsible for investigating the crimes of the previous administration?

Does the Constitution define who's duty it is to investigate crimes? Who's job is it to make sure that duty is performed?

Anyone know?

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. I take it you're talking about federal crimes?
that would largely be the JD. Also Congress.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Torture. I'm specifically talking about the GOP's torturing detainees during the Bush years. n/t
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 06:12 AM by ColbertWatcher
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. It's the duty of the Executice branch. There is no fourth branch.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Based on which passage posted in the OP? n/t
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Article II, Section 2
"he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States"

and the Judiciary Act which was the enabling statute which created the office of the Attorney-General, answerable to the Chief Executive and responsible for the enforcement of federal law.

"The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the Office of the Attorney General which evolved over the years into the head of the Department of Justice and chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters generally and gives advice and opinions to the President and to the heads of the executive departments of the Government when so requested. In matters of exceptional gravity or importance the Attorney General appears in person before the Supreme Court. Since the 1870 Act that established the Department of Justice as an executive department of the government of the United States, the Attorney General has guided the world's largest law office and the central agency for enforcement of federal laws."

http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/

Would you like to know the citation declaring torture to be a federal offense?

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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. OK, just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly ...
... it is the duty of the President to solicit the opinion from the AG?

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. No, it's the duty of the President of the United States to execute the laws of the United States
through the Department of Justice just as much as it is the duty of the President of the United states to defend the United States through the Department of Defense.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. How exactly?
Not to sound like a complete moran, but following what procedure?

Since this has never been done before, what steps would be followed?

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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. You're reading the constitution in a very narrow manner
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 11:53 PM by Hippo_Tron
You can't merely limit presidential authority and responsibility to just what is exactly written in the constitution, although this authority must indeed be derived from something written in the constitution.

For example, it says that "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States" but nothing about the Air Force. This is obviously because the Air Force didn't exist at the time. But we can imply that the Congress can create an Air Force and place it under the control of the President.

Likewise, there is no Department of Justice or Attorney General in the constitution. Congress does have the power to create such a position or department and the President has the power to appoint the head of it. Implicitly the President also has the power to fire whomever he appoints as Attorney General, though this was disputed with Andrew Johnson and the Tenure of Office Act. But since it is no longer disputed, the President clearly has the power to hire (with senate confirmation) and fire the Attorney General. And it is basic hierarchical common sense that when you can hire and fire somebody, you can also give them orders (so long as those orders are not illegal).

Granted, the Congress also has a responsibility to oversee the other branches of government so it may have a role here as well.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I'm trying to understand who is supposed to be doing what in regards to investigating torture.
Whose job is it to investigate the DoJ, CIA, and whoever else was involved with making torture U.S. policy?

And which branch of the government are "we the people" supposed to be pressuring to do hold them accountable?

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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Could it be Obama is waiting for Johnsen's confirmation?
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