Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Recommendations for General Welfare

                The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article II, Section 3:  “[The President] 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 [for the general welfare of the nation].”  This clause is known as the “Recommendations Clause.”  It grants authority to the President to make recommendations to Congress without any violation of the rights of Congress.

                “Explicitly, the clause imposes a duty, but its performance rests solely with the President.  Congress possesses no power to compel the President to recommend, as he alone is the `judge’ of what is `necessary and expedient.’  Unlike the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, which limits Congress’s discretion to effectuating only its delegated powers, the phrase `necessary and expedient’ implies wider range of discretion for the President.  Because this is a political question, there has been little judicial involvement with the President’s actions under the clause as long as Presidents have not tried to extend their legislative powers.  In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer  (1952), the Court noted that the Recommendations Clause serves as a reminder that the President cannot make law by himself:  `The power to recommend legislation, granted to the President, serves only to emphasize that it is the function of the Congress to legislate.’ …” (See Vasan Kesavan, James Pfiffner, and J. Gregory Sidak in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, pp. 217-218.)  

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