Loading...

POLSC332: The Presidency and the Executive Branch

Unit 4: The President and the Judiciary   Much like the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, the relationship between the executive and judicial branches is intricate and nuanced. The Founding Fathers intended to maintain a system of checks and balances and a separation of powers between all the branches of the government. Unit 4 discusses this system as it relates to the president and the federal courts. One of the primary historical roles of the Supreme Court is to review the actions of the other branches of government to ensure that neither the executive nor legislative branches is violating the Constitution. Therefore, the first four subunits below discuss judicial review as it pertains to executive authority. The unit concludes with two subunits that discuss the political and procedural elements of presidential appointments and nominations of federal judges.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: Completing this unit should take you approximately 13.75 hours.

☐   Subunit 4.1: 1 hour

☐   Subunit 4.2: 5.75 hours

☐   Subunit 4.3: 1 hour

☐   Subunit 4.4: 1 hour

☐   Subunit 4.5: 1.5 hours

☐   Subunit 4.6: 3.5 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- analyze historical court cases as they pertain to the separation of powers; - analyze historical court cases as they pertain to a president’s war powers; - analyze historical court cases as they pertain to executive privilege and immunity; - analyze historical court cases as they pertain to presidential removal powers; - discuss how the court has chosen to limit and expand presidential powers during the “war on terror”; - describe the federal judicial appointment process; and - explain the politics of Supreme Court nominations and confirmations.

4.1 Judicial Review: The Separation of Powers   - Reading: The Oyez Project: “INS v. Chadha,” “Morrison v. Olson,” and “Clinton v. City of New York” Link: The Oyez Project: “INS v. Chadha” (PDF), “Morrison v. Olson” (PDF), and “Clinton v. City of New York” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read the facts
of the case, the question, and the conclusion of the Supreme Court
as summarized by the Oyez Project. While reading, keep in mind how
the Supreme Court’s decision impacted presidential powers. Was the
decision in favor of broadening presidential powers, or did the
Court decide to curb the president’s attempt at the expansion of his
powers? You may also choose to click on any of the links on the left
side of the page to enhance your reading, including the link to the
full opinion (marked “Opinion”).  

 Reading these selections and taking notes should take approximately
1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to The Oyez Project, and the original versions can be
found [here](http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1981/1981_80_1832),
[here](http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1987/1987_87_1279), and
[here](http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_1374).

4.2 Judicial Review: Foreign and War Powers   - Reading: Foreign Policy in Focus: Lisa Miller’s “Too Little Too Late: The Supreme Court as a Check on Executive Power” Link: Foreign Policy in Focus: Lisa Miller’s “Too Little Too Late: The Supreme Court as a Check on Executive Power” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read the entire article.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately
30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 United States
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/). It is
attributed to Lisa L. Miller and the Institute for Policy Studies,
and the original version can be found
[here](http://www.fpif.org/articles/too_little_too_late_the_supreme_court_as_a_check_on_executive_power).
  • Reading: The Oyez Project: “The Prize Cases,” “United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.,” “Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer,” “Dames & Moore v. Regan,” “Ex Parte Milligan,” “Korematsu v. United States,” “Rasul v. Bush,” “Hamdi v. Rumsfeld,” “Hamdan v. Rumsfeld,” and “Boumediene v. Bush” Link: The Oyez Project: “The Prize Cases” (PDF), “United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.” (PDF), “Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer” (PDF), “Dames & Moore v. Regan” (PDF), “Ex Parte Milligan” (PDF), “Korematsu v. United States” (PDF), “Rasul v. Bush” (PDF), “Hamdi v. Rumsfeld” (PDF), “Hamdan v. Rumsfeld” (PDF), and “Boumediene v. Bush” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read the facts of the case, the question, and the conclusion of the Supreme Court as summarized by the Oyez Project. While reading, keep in mind how the Supreme Court’s decision impacted presidential powers. Was the decision in favor of broadening presidential powers, or did the Court decide to curb the president’s attempt at expanding presidential powers? You may also choose to access the website and click on any of the links on the left side of the webpage to enhance your reading, including the link to the full opinion (marked “Opinion”).

    Reading these selections and taking notes should take approximately 4 hours.

    Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. They are attributed to The Oyez Project, and the original versions can be found here.

  • Lecture: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: Dr. Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr.’s “Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: Dr. Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr.’s “Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror” (Adobe Flash)

    Also available in:
    Windows Media Player format

    Quicktime
    Real Player

    MP3

    Instructions: Please download the video in any of the three mediums listed under “Downloadable” on this webpage. You may use the following media to access this material: Windows Media Player, QuickTime, or RealPlayer, as well as watching the Adobe Flash Video on the webpage. You may also choose to listen to the audio of the lecture linked on this webpage.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 Judicial Review: Executive Privileges and Immunities   - Reading: The Oyez Project: “United States v. Nixon,” “Nixon v. Fitzgerald,” and “Clinton v. Jones” Link: The Oyez Project: “United States v. Nixon” (PDF), “Nixon v. Fitzgerald” (PDF), and “Clinton v. Jones” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read the facts
of the case, the question, and the conclusion of the Supreme Court
as summarized by the Oyez Project. While reading, keep in mind how
the Supreme Court’s decision impacted presidential powers. Was the
decision in favor of broadening presidential powers, or did the
Court decide to curb the president’s attempt at expanding
presidential powers? You may also choose to click on any of the
links on the left side of the page to enhance your reading,
including the link to the full opinion (marked “Opinion”).  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour.  

 Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). They
are attributed to The Oyez Project, and the original versions can be
found [here](http://www.oyez.org/cases).

4.4 Judicial Review: Removal Powers   - Reading: The Oyez Project: “Myers v. United States,” “Humphrey’s Executor v. United States,” and “Wiener v. United States” Link: The Oyez Project: “Myers v. United States” (PDF), “Humphrey’s Executor v. United States” (PDF), and “Wiener v. United States” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on each link above, and read the facts
of the case, the question, and the conclusion of the Supreme Court
as summarized by the Oyez Project. While reading, keep in mind how
the Supreme Court’s decision impacted presidential powers. Was the
decision in favor of broadening presidential powers, or did the
Court decide to curb the president’s attempt at expanding
presidential powers? You may also choose to click on any of the
links on the left side of the webpage to enhance your reading,
including the link to the full opinion (marked “Opinion”).  

 Reading these selections and taking notes should take approximately
1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: These resources are licensed under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). They
are attributed to The Oyez Project, and the original versions can be
found [here](http://www.oyez.org/cases).

4.5 Judicial Appointment   - Reading: US Department of State: Outline of the US Legal System: “Chapter 7: Federal Judges” Link: US Department of State: Outline of the US Legal System: “Chapter 7: Federal Judges” (HTML)

 Also available in:  
 [PDF](http://www.america.gov/media/pdf/books/legalotln.pdf)  

 Instructions: Please read the entire chapter on federal judges. Pay
particular attention to the role the president plays in selecting
judges, and what political and procedural hurdles exist for the
president in selecting these judges.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour and 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.

4.6 The Politics of Supreme Court Nomination   - Reading: Congressional Research Service: Denis Steven Rutkus’s “The Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate” Link: Congressional Research Service: Denis Steven Rutkus’s “The Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the above link, and then download the
CRS report on the Supreme Court nomination process. Please read
pages 1 to 16 carefully, and skim the remainder of the report. Pages
1 to 16 of the CRS report give a detailed account of the president’s
role in the filling vacancies on the Supreme Court. The rest of the
CRS report explains the process that takes place in Congress. The
article hosted on the National Archives’ website discusses a famous
historical example of the president attempting to influence the
Supreme Court. FDR’s Court-packing plan, though a failure, shows how
much importance the presidents put on influencing the makeup of the
Court.  

 Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 1
hour and 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.  

 Reading: The National Archives: “Teaching with Documents:
Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers”
  • Reading: The National Archives: “Teaching with Documents: Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers” Link: The National Archives: “Teaching with Documents: Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the “Teaching with Documents” article hosted on the National Archives’ website linked here.

    Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “Assessing the Impact of Supreme Court Nominations on Presidential Success” Link: University of Virginia’s Miller Center: “Assessing the Impact of Supreme Court Nominations on Presidential Success”(HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and scroll down to “Panel 2” to watch this lecture on the politics Supreme Court nominations.

    Watching this lecture and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.