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3 points

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/every-presidents-executive-actions-in-one-chart/

The use of executive orders is actually on the decline. If a President were to get out of control with his overuse of the military, Congress has the power to cut money from the Department of Defense.

The link above has a chart of the use of executive orders.

3 points

Actually, there have only been a total of 1,066 pocket vetoes (https://history.house.gov/Institution/Presidential-Vetoes/Presidential-Vetoes/ ). Pocket vetoes can't be overridden, unlike regular vetoes. You most likely have regular vetoes and pocket vetoes mixed up.

Although pocket vetoes give the President a way around Congress, if he or she uses it too often they have a good chance of being impeached. Being impeached is hard to do but it's a final power that Congress has to remove the President from their position and any power he or she has.

4 points

Congress is able to approve positions that the President appoints such as ambassadors, judges, and SCOTUS.

In a divided government, when Democrats control the Senate, it could be very difficult for the President to appoint someone who is too zealous or fervent towards him, as well as people who may not be fit for the job.

A good recent example of this is from last year is during Ronny Jackson’s appointment as Assistant to the President and Chief Medical Adviser. It was postponed until he finally withdrew his position. Co-workers claimed that he created a hostile work environment and drank on the job.

4 points

Congress has the power to override a veto from a President if there is a ⅔ vote in both houses.

During Andrew Johnson’s Presidency, Congress used 15 overrides. Andrew tried to veto 21 laws which means that Congress overrode almost 70% of his vetoes.

President Pierce used 9 vetoes but Congress overrode 5 of them. That means that Congress overrode more than 50% of his vetoes. These are great examples of how Congress is able to undermine the power of the President.

4 points

Congress is able to remove the President or positions appointed by the President from office. This means that if the President is taking too much power, then there will most likely be a strong push to get rid of him. Officials appointed by the President who are not doing their job properly may also have a strong push in Congress to be impeached.

One of the best known examples is Watergate in which President Nixon was on the verge of impeachment which pressured him to resign.

The most recent example (2010) was with a district court judge from Louisiana. G. Thomas Porteous was charged with lying under oath. Not only was he removed from office but he was not allowed to hold future offices.

2 points

The militias joining Shay's rebellion are the perfect example of why we should have militias. Militias are able to empathize with the people and do what they think is right. A standing army on the other hand would be willing to kill its own citizens, even innocent ones. It states in Brutus I, "But they have always proved the destruction of liberty, and are abhorrent to the spirit of a free republic." A standing army is able to act upon the will of only one executive while a militia depends on the will of the people. As it states in Brutus I, "It must depend upon the support of its citizens."

4 points

The statement "The larger the population and republic, the less people will agree unless the position is very broad" is exactly why the United States should not have a large republic. This problem is directly addressed in Brutus I, "It is practicable for a country so large and so numerous as they will soon become to elect a representation, that will speak their sentiments..." If the people can't agree in a large republic then it creates gridlock. As it states in Brutus I, "Constant clashing of opinions; and the representative of one part will be continually striving against those of the other."

3 points

It is not necessarily true that Congress would "do what is in the best interest of everyone." Congress has the best interest of the majority faction because they are elected through popular vote. As it says in Article V of the Articles of Confederation, "For the more convenient management of the general interests of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct..." And as we know from Federalist 10 in which it states, "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man..." that the majorities will always vote in their own favor and interest. As for the statement "Doesn't give the government any more authority than they already have..." we know that people in power rarely want to give up their position in power. It states in Brutus I, "But remember, when the people once part with power, they seldom or never resume it again but by force." We can predict that by giving Congress so much power through the Necessary and Proper clause that they will ultimately just use it for their own personal gain.

2 points

Higher taxes imposed by the national government minimizes the amount of taxing the state can impose which makes it harder for the state to maintain a militia, support infrastructure, and keep the state’s sovereignty. This infringes upon Article II of the Articles of Confederation which states, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated…”. The national government would prevent the states from having tariffs. It says in Brutus I, “No state can emit paper money -- lay any duties, or imposts, on imports, or exports, but by consent of the Congress…”. This directly contravenes the Articles of Confederation because the state’s sovereignty would “dwindle away, and, as observed, their powers absorbed in that of the general government.”

2 points

The Necessary and Proper Clause is very vague and allows the government to encroach on the rights of the people. It states in section 8 of article 1, “...which shall be necessary and proper...” as well as “...the supreme law of the land…”. The Bill of Rights would guarantee the people their rights and “plug the hole” in the clauses. The Bill of Rights would protect the people by limiting the government. For example the 6th Amendment ensures a fair trial, which in turn would keep people who speak out against the government safe. Another example is the 2nd Amendment or the right to bear arms which would protect the state’s militias and therefore the state’s sovereignty as well.

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