United States Constitution

PREAMBLE : We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution



Article II, Section I

Text of Article 2, Section 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:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The 'Travis Translation' of Article 2, Section 1:
Clause 1: The leader of the country will be the President of the United States. The President will be elected every four years, along with a Vice President, like this:

Clause 2: The legislature of each state decides how that state will name a number of people called “Electors.” The number of electors will equal the number of Representatives and Senators of that State — but Senators, Representatives, or other government officers cannot be electors. (If a state has four Representatives and two Senators, it has six electors in what is now known as the Electoral College.)

Clause 3: The electors meet in their states and vote for two people. At least one person for whom they vote cannot live in that elector’s state. The Electors will make a list of all the people they voted for, and how many votes each person got. Then they sign and certify the list, and send it to the President of the Senate in the seat of the United States Government (in Washington, D.C.). The President of the Senate opens all the States’ certificates in front of the Representatives and Senators, and then the votes are counted. The person with the majority of electors’ votes will be the President. If more than one person has the same number of electors’ votes, the Representatives will immediately choose one of them by a vote. If nobody has a majority, then the Representatives will choose a President from among the five people who got the most electors’ votes. But if the Representatives have to choose a President like this, the vote will be taken by States, and each state has only one vote. At least two-thirds of the Representatives must be present to choose a President like this. If the President has to be chosen like this, the person with the next most electors’ votes will be the Vice President. If there is a tie, the Senators vote for the Vice President. [The 12th Amendment and the 23rd Amendment changed this process]

Clause 4: Congress picks the time of choosing of electors, and the day they vote. It will be the same day in all States.

Clause 5: The President must be born a United States citizen, be 35 years old, and have lived in the United States for 14 years.

Clause 6: If the President dies, leaves office, is kicked out of office, or is unable to do the job — the duties of President fall to the Vice President. Congress will decide how to handle things if the President or Vice President dies, leaves office, gets kicked out of office, or is unable to do their jobs. Congress will figure out which officer will act as President if the elected President or Vice President is unable to do their job, until the elected President or Vice President can do their job again, or until another President is elected. [This got more specific with the 25th Amendment]

Clause 7: The President will get paid for serving as President, and the pay cannot go up or down while that person serves as President. The President cannot get paid anything but salary from the United States while President. The President cannot get money from any State.

Clause 8: When the President takes office, this is the oath: “1 do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Article II governs the powers and limitations of the Executive branch of the Government, led by the President. The Executive branch of government is tasked with the actual implementation and administration of the laws that Congress creates.
Clause 1: Vesting Clause and Inherent Executive Power Important Cases
Section 1 generally outlines the form of the executive branch and how someone becomes president. The first clause is a vesting clause, which gives the President the power of the Executive. The extent of this power, however, has proven controversial from the era of the Founding Fathers up to today. Unlike the vesting clause in Article I, Article II’s clause does not use the words “herein granted” when describing Presidential powers. Some, like Alexander Hamilton, believed that this wording meant the executive branch had “inherent” powers that were not specifically outlined in the Constitution. Others, like James Madison, believed that the powers of the President were expressly determined by the Constitution. The tension between these two doctrines has played out throughout history between the Executive branch and the Court.

One of the most important decisions addressing this issue of inherent presidential power is Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer. During the Korean War, steel workers threatened to go on strike due. President Truman seized the steel mills and operated them under the government in order to keep up production for the war effort. The steel mill owners sued, and the government argued that the President had the inherent power to seize the mills in order to prevent a “national catastrophe.”

The Supreme Court disagreed with the government’s position, holding that the seizure of the mills exceeded the President’s power by a 6-3 vote. Seven different opinions were written, with several differing explanations for the decision being provided.

Justice Black wrote the majority opinion, which took an absolutist position: there was no inherent power, the President was limited to powers expressly written in the Constitution or provided via law by Congress.

Justice Douglass adopted an “interstitial” approach: the President could act outside the express words of the Constitution or statute as long as the powers did not take or infringe upon the other branches. Since Congress was already allowed to seize and pay for property, taking the mills would have been more suited for the Legislative branch.

Justice Jackson, in an influential concurring opinion, expressed his belief that the President could act as long as the action wasn’t forbidden by the Constitution or statute. Since Congress had expressly denied the President the ability to seize the factories with earlier legislation, he could not assume that power. The most enduring section of Jackson’s concurrence ranks three different situations where the President’s power to act differs. When the President acts directly under Congressional approval, his powers are at his strongest. When the President acts in a way not expressly allowed or rejected by Congress, the specific circumstances will determine the constitutionality on a case by case basis. Finally, when the President acts incompatibly with Congress, his powers are at the lowest and will only be allowed if Congress’s law is unconstitutional.

The last stance, expressed in the dissent, is that of Chief Justice Vinson: broad inherent authority. This belief had since been important on issues of the President’s powers to conduct foreign relations, rather than internally.

 Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)
Clauses 2, 3, 4: Presidential Elections Important Cases
The second and third clauses deal with the Electoral College and the means by which the President is elected. The Twelfth Amendment made significant changes to this procedure.

The fourth clause states Congress can determine the timing of choosing electors. Although the federal government can choose the time when electors must be chosen and give their votes, the Constitutional power to determine the manner in which they are chosen resides with the states.
Clause 5: Eligibility for Presidency Important Cases
The fifth clause determine the eligibility of a person to run for President. The Supreme Court has held that naturalized citizens are the same as native citizens except in on regard: naturalized citizens may not run for President. 
Clause 6: Succession Important Cases
The sixth clause outlines the path of succession in the event that the President dies or is removed from office. Initially there was some debate as to whether when the President was removed, the Vice President became the new president, or rather was simply an “acting” president in the meantime. This was settled when President Harrison died in office and his Vice-President Tyler was sworn in as President, starting a tradition for all future succeeding Vice Presidents. 
Clause 7: Salary, Clause 8: Oath Important Cases
The last two clauses are very straight forward, determining how the President is paid and the oath which he must take before assuming the job.