Tutor profile: Braden K.
Subject: US Government and Politics
The Presidency has grown in power considerably over the last 100 years. Some argue that this growth in power is due to Congress ceding authority to the Executive Branch. Is this true? If so, how has Congress ceded some of its authority to the Executive?
The Presidency was always an extremely powerful position, but as the United States grew into a greater global power, the Presidency's role in running foreign affairs made it far more powerful. Congress generally deferred to the President in this arena allowing the President much freedom in the use of military force. By passing the War Powers Resolution, Congress attempted to take back some of this power, however every President has deemed the War Powers Resolution unconstitutional. The growth of regulatory agencies has also undermined Congress, with increasing lawmaking authority being given to Executive or quasi-Executive agencies.
Subject: Political Science
While politicians write laws, there is a tendency to view law as "above" politics. That is, law is more noble and universal than the political sphere. Is law substantially separate from politics, or is all law necessarily political?
All laws come from the political system, so all law is, in some way, political. However law, particularly criminal law, is particularly apolitical. These areas of law seem to be relatively free of politics. However, other areas of law are intensely political, such as tax law, environmental law, and election law. Here, it is easy to see the influence of politics on lawmaking with different legislatures controlled by different parties in different states creating a disparate set of laws dealing with the same issue.
Subject: US History
Throughout U.S. History, there has been a debate over the nature of the states and their relation to the federal government with some arguing in favor of greater autonomy for the states, while other argued for greater power for the federal government. Identify two historical events that have been part of this debate and explain how they shaped it.
The Founders harshly debated how much power the federal government would have and were concerned that it would become too powerful. For this reason, the first governing document of the United States was the Articles of Confederation which created a weak federal government that was unable to effectively manage the crises of its day. It was then replaced by the Constitution which provided for a stronger federal government and took power away from the states. This debate was again rekindled with the Nullification Crisis of the 1830's. Here, South Carolina tried to nullify federal laws it disagreed with, however it failed and proved federal laws to be supreme over state laws.
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