Powers of the Executive in Response to Emergency issues

Subject: Political
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 1027
Topics: Constitution, Government, Political Science, Terrorism

The rule of law governs the United States. The constitution provides the laws that govern the running of a country. The president is the head of the executive. He is supposed to uphold the constitution at all times. The legislature aids the president by providing the legal guidelines that require being followed. However, some situations are not well stipulated in the constitution. There are circumstances that need urgent attention. Emergency situations may arise, and the president may be required to provide an instant solution. This may not be stipulated in the constitution at times. When the president makes such a move, he may be criticized and accused of acting illegally. This study evaluates the executive powers of the president in unique situations concerning the provisions of the constitution.

The rule of law is not always adequate when it comes to counter attacking the enemies and terrorism. For example, President Bush was forced to deploy spying mechanism in the efforts to fight terrorist attacks. In the view of some critics, the move was not legal. However, the constitution allows for extra measures when dealing with the emergency issues. They failed to understand the full context under which the constitution addresses the emergency issues through its provisions.

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To counter issues such as terrorism, the country requires greater force than that is used to fight domestic criminals. These criminals are charged and dealt with according to the set laws and as provided by the constitution. The terror threats are issues that come as an emergency and require special handling. The American constitution provides for a strong executive. For this reason, the executive, which is the Office of the President, is not limited to only the execution of laws. It is given extra powers which are legal according to the constitution. Some of these powers include commanding the armed forces, signing treaties and foreign policy issues, pardoning convicted persons and signing of laws. The Office of the President is, therefore, quite powerful constitutionally.

To the belief of the Republicans, power is safe in the hands of many people as compared to when it is in the hands of a few individuals or just a single person. They believe in the rule of law and power should be exercised in the form of law and not in the form of decrees. For this reason, they seem to favor a government where the legislature is stronger than the executive. This is the reason they were quick to criticize the move by the president. However, the rule of law is not enough on its own to run a country. The laws and the constitution need to be supplemented by the power of the president to counter the emergency issues. However, the Republicans do not fully agree to this point. This is because, when the president is issuing orders, he is liable to unwise discretion. It is also difficult to point a clear boundary between wise and unwise judgment without indicating boundaries, which again goes back to the laws. Therefore, top run a country successfully, both the rule of the law and the power of the executive or the president are important. The American Constitution provides two items as it allows a strong executive.

The executive power represents the necessity of responding to emergencies. As most emergencies are not anticipated, the constitution does not limit the president to put the necessary measures to respond. When dealing with emergencies, the set laws always create a gap as they were formed when the emergency issue was not anticipated. The legislative which comprises of the judicial powers indicate the choices. These are the anticipated issues, and they have been accounted for in the fixed laws. The constitution combines the necessity and the choices. It upholds the idea of self-governance and at the same time allowing room for the executive powers where the laws are imperfect.

The separation of the executive and legislature was proposed by the Republicans in the 17th century. The executive was then strengthened and was allowed top act independent of the legislature. Those who criticize the move by the president to spy on the terrorists imply that the president should have consulted the Legislature. In this move, the executive would not be acting independently in the emergency cases. This would make the executive a subject of the legislature while it has the power to act on its own. This would be wrong to imply that the president should be made to answer to the other organs of the government. To the general view, the move by the president could be seen as illegal, but under the constitutional, it is not illegal. According to the 1978 Foreign Surveillance Act, spying on the terrorists was a mistake. It required the approval of by a secret court of judges. The critics of President Bush administration argued that the move was not legal. In response to the emergency issues, the executive should be able to act independently. With this, the president could be held responsible and accountable for his decisions. This can only happen if one person, the president is given the responsibilities. This makes the president to be held responsible whenever the government is held responsible.

This study evaluated the execution powers of the president in unique situations in relation to the provisions of the constitution. For the emergency situations, the executive is allowed to exercise its power, without the consultation of the legislature. The constitution provides for a strong executive who has the freedom to act independently. However, whenever the government is held responsible, the president is the one who is held responsible.


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