MMPP 6280:Week 3: Leadership in a Presidential System Essay Assignment Paper

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MMPP 6280:Week 3: Leadership in a Presidential System Essay Assignment Paper

MMPP 6280: Policy and Politics in American Institutions | Week 3

What is leadership and power in a presidential system? Does it mean all power is given to a president? Does it reside in congressional decision making? In the supreme court case Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer (1952) Justice Robert Jackson argued that presidential decisions would fall under one of three groups: 1) the president’s actions would be “consistent” with the express will of Congress; 2) the president’s actions would be “incompatible” with Congress’ expressed or implied will, and 3) presidential decisions would fall between these two opposite extremes (Derring & Maltzman, 1999).

This week, you explore presidential leadership and the evolution of the modern presidency, relative to executive authority and legislative and judicial powers. As a leader in public policy and administration, it is imperative that you have a strong understanding of the inner workings of presidential power in order to make connections with how it impacts policy making.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze how modern presidents have wielded executive authority
  • Analyze restraint of executive authority
  • Evaluate executive authority

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Shafritz, J. M., Lane, K. S., & Borick, C. P. (Eds.). (2005). Classics of public policy. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

  • Chapter 7, “Policy Implementation by the Executive”
    • Presidential Power: The Power to Persuade (1959) (pp. 230–233)
    • The Two Presidencies (1966) (pp. 234–247)

Deering, C. J., & Maltzman, F. (1999). The politics of executive orders: Legislative constraints on presidential power. Political Research Quarterly, 52(4), 767–783. doi: 10.1177/106591299905200405

Howell, W. G. (2011). Presidential power in war. Annual Review of Political Science, 14 (1), 89–105. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-040609-155927


Jost, K. (2006, February 24). Presidential power: Is Bush overstepping his executive authority? CQ Researcher, 16(8), 169–192.


Silverstein, G. (2009). The law: Bush, Cheney, and the separation of powers: A lasting legal legacy? Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39(4), 878–895. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03712.x


The Avalon Project. (2008). War powers resolution: Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the President. Retrieved from


MMPP 6280:Week 3: Leadership in a Presidential System Essay Assignment Paper



Leading Constitutional theorists, such as John Rohr, would argue that the Framers of the Constitution of the United States wanted to ensure that presidential power would be properly checked by the other two powers but particularly the legislative. As per Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which specifically provides that “… Congress shall provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States … and have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own Powers but also all other Powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof” (U.S. Constitution, 1791). However, in more recent times, United States’ presidents, particularly George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have been accused of overstepping their executive authority.

For this Discussion, consider the last two or three administrations. Has the power of the President extended so far that it has tipped the scales in favor of executive powers, relative to legislative or judicial power? Is this a phenomenological consequence of a post-9/11 world? Or have the expectations of the President as commander in chief of the world’s most powerful nation changed since Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer?

By Day 3

Post examples of contemporary administrations allegedly overstepping executive authority, and explain how. Explain one domestic implication and one international implication of this overreach of executive authority. Also, explain how other branches act to restrain executive overreach.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.


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