In light of President Obama and his Executive orders on gun control among other things, I decided to post an article by a friend of mine Publius Huldah, a retired Constitutional lawyer here in Tennessee. You see Executive orders are not law and she explains why.

What are the Enumerated Powers of the President?

The powers of the President are “carefully limited” and precisely defined by our Constitution.  In Federalist Paper No. 71 (last para), Alexander Hamilton asks,

…what would be … feared from an elective magistrate of four years’ duration, with the confined authorities of a President of the United States?…[emphasis added] 2

The answer to Hamilton’s question is this: There would be nothing to fear if Presidents obeyed the Constitution. But they don’t obey it because the dolts in Congress don’t make them obey it!

Well, then!  Here is the complete list of the President’s enumerated powers:

Art. I, Sec. 7, cls. 2 & 3, grants to the President the power to approve or veto Bills and Resolutions passed by Congress.

Art. I, Sec. 9, next to last clause, grants to the executive Branch – the Treasury Department – the power to write checks pursuant to Appropriations made by law – i.e., by Congress.

Art. II, Sec. 1, cl.1, vests “executive Power” [see below] in the President.

Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause, sets forth the President’s Oath of Office – to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

Art. II, Sec. 2, cl.1:

  • makes the President Commander in Chief of the armed forces when they have been called by Congress into the actual service of the United States. 3
  • authorizes the President to require the principal Officers in the executive Departments to provide written Opinions upon the Duties of their Offices.
  •  grants the President power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States, 4  but he can not stop impeachments of any federal judge or federal officer.

Article II, Sec. 2, cl. 2 grants to the President the power:

  • to make Treaties – with the advice and consent of the Senate. 5
  • to nominate Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls, federal judges, and various other officers – with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Article II, Sec. 2, cl. 3 grants to the President the power to make recess appointments, which expire at the end of Congress’ next session.

Art. II, Sec. 3:

  • Imposes the duty on the President to periodically advise Congress on the State of the Union, and authorizes the President to recommend to Congress such measures as he deems wise.
  • Authorizes the President, on extraordinary Occasions, to convene one or both houses of Congress [e.g., when he asks Congress to declare War]; and if both houses can not agree on when to adjourn, he is authorized to adjourn them to such time as he deems proper.
  • Imposes the duty upon the President to receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers.
  • Imposes the duty upon the President to take care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and
  • Imposes the duty upon the President to Commission all the Officers of the United States.

That’s it! Anything else the President does is unlawful and a usurpation of powers not granted.

Read her entire article here