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But the legislature and executive and the party apparatus are all very different things, with different responsibilities...

That's on paper. In practice, the Preznit says "Congress must act on this urgent issue" and has a Congressperson introduce the legislation that the White House has prepared already.

That's on paper too! From Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;

The annual "State of the Union" speech derives from this, but so does the recommedation of legislation throughout the year.

Incidentally, I had completely forgotten about the next part of that sentence:

he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper;

I don't suppose that this has ever been done.

by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 09:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you saying the president has the power to adjourn the Congress?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 02:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Well, only "in case of disagreement between [the House and Senate]". And since those bodies usually convene and adjourn independently, then one should be able to argue that they have agreed on such independence, rendering the President powerless. Also, the "adjourn to" language makes me suspect that he would have to state a time of their reconvening. Plus, every two years there's a new Congress, so things should return to default status then.

But I'm just trying to interpret vague language that, as I said before, has probably never been used. After all, it's a myth that our (the U.S.) Constitution was all written down in 1787, as our "strict constructionists" pretend. Really, we rely on tradition just as much as the UK's unwritten constitution, and even Supreme Court decisions have recognised this. So if any President tried to activate these powers, then this would cause a constitutional crisis, just as if (in the UK) the Sovereign were to try to exercise theoretical powers that have not been used for centuries. ("Sorry, Mr Blair, I don't accept your resignation, and I refuse to appoint Mr Brown, because I don't like his looks.")

by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:14:10 AM EST
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