Did Jefferson overstep his authority by making the Louisiana Purchase?

| July 22, 2015

Question: Did Jefferson overstep his authority by making the Louisiana Purchase?  Was he disingenuous by using his power in a way that he said he wouldn’t?  How might the world be different had Jefferson not made the Louisiana Purchase?

https://youtu.be/sMh8RCqJf9U

Question: Then make an initial post discussing what you thought of the speeches.  How do these relate to the powers of the president?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0stiHQv6yJQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cse5cCGuHmE

Question: If you were the president, what one thing would you do?  Can you do it with the executive powers available to you in the Constitution or would you need the help of Congress?

With the recent attention paid to President Obama’s use of executive orders much debate has occurred regarding the power of the president and whether this power has grown over time. Article I of the U.S. Constitution describes the Federal Congress.  Article II the Federal President.  Article III the Federal Judiciary. The first sentence of Article II states: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  On initial reading this seems to be a fairly straightforward and obvious sentence.  However compare it to the first sentence of Article I regarding the powers of the Federal Congress. The first sentence of Article I states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States

Article I says that the Federal Congress only has the powers that are specifically granted within the text of the U.S. Constitution.  This why nearly all of our U.S. Constitutional Amendments include the clause, “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  For congress to be able to make laws regarding a subject, the Constitution must give specific authority for Congress to act.

Never in the Constitution is there is a line that states: “The Federal Executive shall have the authority to enforce a law once Congress has passed it … ,“ because it is not necessary as Article II simply grants that all executive Power, even if not expressly stated in the Constitution, is vested in the President of the United States.

This demonstrates that the framers of the U.S. Constitution conceived of a limited Congress but a broad and powerful central President with great power to enforce and carryout all federal legislation.

Question: After reading this information, do you think that President Obama has abused or exceeded his Constitutional authority?  If yes, be very specific in describing how you believe he has exceeding his authority.  How does President Obama’s use of his presidential powers compare to the President George W. Bush?

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