Pursuant to Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, the executive power of the United States is vested in the President who shall serve a term of four years with the Vice President. The election of the President and Vice President is accomplished by majority vote of “Electors.” The number of Electors in each state is equivalent to the number of Senators and Representatives to which that State is entitled to in Congress. The Electors from every State and the District of Columbia make up the Electoral College. The citizens of each state vote for the Electors in the Electoral College who then cast their votes for the President and Vice President.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets forth certain qualifications before an individual can become eligible for the Office of the President. A person must be a natural born citizen of the United States to become President. The person must also be a resident within the United States for 14 years. Lastly, persons under the age of 35 are ineligible for the office of the President.
Pursuant to Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, the Vice President shall be responsible for the powers and duties of the Office of the President in the event that the President is unable to discharge his duties. Such inability may be due to removal from office, death, resignation or inability.
Pursuant to Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, before entering on the execution of the Office, the President must take an oath to faithfully execute the Office of the President and to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The powers of the President are set forth in Article II, Section 2 and include:
- The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and State militias.
- The President may create a cabinet so as to obtain opinions upon any subject relating to the duties in each of the executive Departments.
- The President has the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States. This power does not extend to cases of impeachment.
- The President has the power to make Treaties with approval of two-thirds of the Senators present.
- The President is responsible for nominating and appointing with Senate approval, ambassadors, public ministers, consuls, and Judges of the Supreme Court.
The responsibilities of the President are set forth in Article II, Section 3 and include:
- The President must give the Congress information on the “State of the Union” “from time to time.”
- President can convene both or either of the Houses on extra-ordinary occasions.
- The President shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers. The President has the authority to determine the authenticity of credentials of diplomatic representatives and whether the government will recognize them as qualified representatives of a foreign power.
- The President has the power to take care that laws are faithfully executed.
- The President commissions “all the Officers of the United States.” These include officers in both military and foreign service.
Section 4 of Article II provides for the removal of President, Vice-President and all civil officers of the United States. They shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.