prev | next
ArtII.S1.C1.1 Overview of Executive Vesting Clause

Article II, Section 1, Clause 1:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Under Article II, Section 1, Clause 1, the executive power is vested in a single person—the President of the United States. The nature and extent of the executive power is less clear.1 Article II identifies exclusive powers of the President, including the President’s authority as Commander in Chief and the power to pardon;2 powers the President shares with the Senate, including the appointments and treaty-making powers;3 and the President’s duties, the most important of which is the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” 4 Moreover, the Supreme Court has recognized that “[b]ecause no single person could fulfill that responsibility,” the Take Care Clause implicitly provides the President with authority to supervise subordinate officers assisting with this responsibility.5 Likewise, Article I provides the President a role in the legislative process, including authority to veto legislation, subject to potential override by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress.6

It is less clear from the text of the Constitution whether the executive powers expressly identified in the Constituion are exclusive or illustrative. Whereas the Article I Legislative Vesting Clause provides that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress,” 7 thereby distinguishing the powers granted by states from those they retained, the Article II Executive Vesting Clause does not limit the “executive Power” in any way.8 Consequently, since the earliest days of the Republic, the parameters of the executive power and, in particular, what implicit or residual powers such executive power encompasses have been the subject of debate.

U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 1. back
Id. art. II, § 2, cl. 1. See ArtII.S2.C1.1.1 Historical Background on Commander in Chief Clause. back
Id. art. II, § 2, cl. 2. See ArtII.S2.C1.3.1 Overview of Pardon Power. back
Id. art. II, § 3. See ArtII.S3.3.1 Overview of Take Care Clause. back
Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Fin. Protection Bureau, No. 19-7, slip op. at 2 (U.S. June 29, 2020). See also Free Enter. Fund v. Pub. Co. Acct. Oversight Bd., 561 U.S. 477, 492–93 (2010). back
U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2. See ArtI.S7.C2.1 Overview of Presidential Approval or Veto of Bills. back
Id. art. I, § 1, cl. 1 (emphasis added). See ArtI.S1.1 Overview of Legislative Vesting Clause. back
Id. art. II, § 1, cl. 1. back