Presidential proclamation (United States)

Last updated
Presidential proclamation 1268 of May 9, 1914 regarding Mother's Day President Woodrow Wilson's Mother's Day Proclamation of May 9, 1914 (Presidential Proclamation 1268). - NARA - 299965.tif
Presidential proclamation 1268 of May 9, 1914 regarding Mother's Day
The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags due to the death of John Glenn, as published in the Federal Register. Death of John Glenn (2016-30262) - Proclamation 9552.pdf
The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags due to the death of John Glenn, as published in the Federal Register.

A presidential proclamation is a statement issued by a president on an issue of public policy, and is a kind of presidential directive. A presidential proclamation is an instrument that

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Public policy is the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues, in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs.

A Presidential directive, or executive action, is a written or oral instruction or declaration issued by the President of the United States, which may draw upon the powers vested in the president by the U.S. Constitution, statutory law, or, in certain cases, congressional and judicial acquiescence. Such directives, which have been issued since the earliest days of the federal government, have become known by various names, and some have prescribed forms and purposes. Presidential directives remain in effect until they are revoked, which the president is free to do. The classification of presidential directives is not easily done, as the distinction between the types can be quite arbitrary, arising from convenience and bureaucratic evolution, and none are defined in the Constitution. Furthermore, the different types may overlap. As one legal scholar put it: "it is a bit misleading to overclassify presidential directives as comprising separate and distinct 'types' just because they have different headings at the top of the first page". In terms of legal applicability, what matters is the substance of the directive, not the form, unless a certain kind of directive is specifically required by relevant statute.

Contents

Proclamations issued by the U.S. president fall into two broad categories:

  1. "ceremonial" proclamations, that designate special observances or celebrate national holidays, and
  2. "substantive" proclamations, that usually relates to the conduct of foreign affairs and other sworn executive duties. These may be, but are not limited to, matters of international trade, the execution of set export controls, the establishment of tariffs, or the reservation of federal lands for the benefit of the public in some manner. [2]

Unless authorized by Congress, a president's proclamation does not have the force of law. If Congress were to pass an act that would take effect upon the happening of a contingent event, and subsequently the president proclaimed that the event happened, then the proclamation would have the force of law. [3]

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.

An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to specific institutions or individuals.

Presidential proclamations are often dismissed as a practical tool for policy making because they are considered to be largely ceremonial or symbolic in nature. [3] The administrative weight of these proclamations is upheld because they are often specifically authorized by congressional statute, making them "delegated unilateral powers". Their issuances have on occasion led to important political and historical consequences in the development of the United States. George Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793 and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 are some of America's most famous presidential proclamations in this regard. [4] The legal weight of presidential proclamations suggests their importance to presidential governance. [5]

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who also served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War for Independence. He presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the U.S. Constitution and a federal government. Washington has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation.

The Proclamation of Neutrality was a formal announcement issued by U.S. President George Washington on April 22, 1793 that declared the nation neutral in the conflict between France and Great Britain. It threatened legal proceedings against any American providing assistance to any country at war.

Emancipation Proclamation executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that freed Southern slaves

The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the designated areas of the South from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the former slave became free. Ultimately, the rebel surrender liberated and resulted in the proclamation's application to all of the designated former slaves. It did not cover slaves in Union areas that were freed by state action. It was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch of the United States.

Other more recent policy-based proclamations have also made a substantial impact on economic and domestic policy, including Bill Clinton's declaration of federal lands for national monuments and George W. Bush's declaration of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina as disaster areas.

Domestic policy are administrative decisions that are directly related to all issues and activity within a nation's borders. It differs from foreign policy, which refers to the ways a government advances its interests in world politics. Domestic policy covers a wide range of areas, including business, education, energy, healthcare, law enforcement, money and taxes, natural resources, social welfare, and personal rights and freedoms.

Bill Clinton 42nd president of the United States

William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992, and the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat, and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.

Federal lands are lands in the United States owned by the federal government. Pursuant to the Property Clause of the United States Constitution, the Congress has the power to retain, buy, sell, and regulate federal lands, such as by limiting cattle grazing on them. These powers have been recognized in a long line of U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Proclamations are also used, often contentiously, to grant presidential pardons. Recent notable pardon proclamations are Gerald Ford's pardon of former President Richard Nixon (1974), [6] Jimmy Carter's pardon of Vietnam War draft evaders (1977) [7] and George W. Bush's clemency of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence (2007). [8]

A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime or other legal offense, as if the act never occurred. The pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

Gerald Ford 38th president of the United States

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. was an American politician who served as the 38th president of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Before his accession to the presidency, Ford served as the 40th vice president of the United States from December 1973 to August 1974. Ford is the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office by the Electoral College.

Richard Nixon 37th president of the United States

Richard Milhous Nixon was an American politician who served as the 37th president of the United States from 1969 until 1974. He had previously served as the 36th vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as both a U.S. representative and senator from California.

Although less significant in terms of public policy, proclamations are also used ceremonially by presidents to honor a group or situation or to call attention to certain issues or events. For instance, President George H. W. Bush issued a proclamation to honor veterans of World War II and Ronald Reagan called attention to the health of the nation's eyes by proclaiming a Save Your Vision Week and Proclamation 5497 recognizing National Theatre Week.

See also

Related Research Articles

Executive order Federal administrative instruction issued by the President of the United States

In the United States, an executive order is a directive issued by the president of the United States that manages operations of the federal government and has the force of law. The legal or constitutional basis for executive orders has multiple sources. Article Two of the United States Constitution gives the president broad executive and enforcement authority to use their discretion to determine how to enforce the law or to otherwise manage the resources and staff of the executive branch. The ability to make such orders is also based on express or implied Acts of Congress that delegate to the president some degree of discretionary power.

Imperial Presidency is a term some use to describe the modern presidency of the United States which became popular in the 1960s and served as the title of a 1973 volume by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who wrote The Imperial Presidency out of two concerns: presidency was uncontrollable and that it had exceeded the constitutional limits.

Presidency of Gerald Ford American cabinet

The presidency of Gerald Ford began on August 9, 1974, when Gerald Ford became President of the United States upon the resignation of Richard Nixon from office, and ended on January 20, 1977, a period of 895 days. Ford had served as Vice President of the United States since December 6, 1973, following Spiro Agnew's resignation from that office. The 38th United States president, Ford has the distinction of being the first, and to date the only person to serve as president without being elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. His presidency ended following his defeat in the 1976 presidential election by Democrat Jimmy Carter.

National security directive United States President directive

National security directives are presidential directives issued for the National Security Council (NSC). Starting with Harry Truman, every president since the founding of the National Security Council in 1947 has issued national security directives in one form or another, which have involved foreign, military and domestic policies. National security directives are generally highly classified and are available to the public only after "a great many years" have elapsed. Unlike executive orders, national security directives are usually directed only to the National Security Council and the most senior executive branch officials, and embody foreign and military policy-making guidance rather than specific instructions.

Powers of the president of the United States

The powers of the president of the United States include those powers explicitly granted by Article II of the United States Constitution to the president of the United States, powers granted by Acts of Congress, implied powers, and also a great deal of soft power that is attached to the presidency.

Office of the Pardon Attorney

The Office of the Pardon Attorney, within the United States Department of Justice, in consultation with the Attorney General of the United States or his or her delegate, assists the President of the United States in the exercise by him of executive clemency as authorized by Article II, Section 2, of the US Constitution. Under the Constitution, the president's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Office of the Pardon Attorney for investigation and review. The pardon attorney prepares the department's recommendation to the president for final disposition of each application.

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed by President of the United States George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, is a Presidential Directive establishing a comprehensive policy on the federal government structures and operations in the event of a "catastrophic emergency". Such an emergency is defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

The Scooter Libby clemency controversy arose when U.S. President George W. Bush commuted the prison sentence of Scooter Libby, the former Chief of Staff to Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, on July 2, 2007. It resulted in a hearing, "The Use and Misuse of Presidential Clemency Power for Executive Branch Officials", held July 11, 2007 by the full Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives. The hearing was intended to "explore the grave questions that arise when the Presidential clemency power is used to erase criminal penalties for high-ranking executive branch employees whose offenses relate to their work for the President", as well as to assess the consequences of the perjury and obstruction of justice of which vice-presidential Chief of Staff Lewis Libby was convicted March 6, 2007.

A presidential memorandum is a type of directive issued by the president of the United States to manage and govern the actions, practices, and policies of the various departments and agencies found under the executive branch of the United States government. It has the force of law and is usually used to delegate tasks, direct specific government agencies to do something, or to start a regulatory process. There are three types of presidential memoranda: presidential determination or presidential finding, memorandum of disapproval, and hortatory memorandum.

Pardon of Richard Nixon 1974 invocation of the United States Presidential pardon

The pardon of Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974, by President Gerald Ford granted Nixon, Ford's predecessor as president, a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president. In particular, the pardon covered Nixon's actions during the Watergate scandal. In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford, who had succeeded to the presidency upon Nixon's resignation, explained that he felt the pardon was in the best interests of the country and that the Nixon family's situation was "a tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must."

The presidency of Gerald Ford began on August 9, 1974, when Gerald Ford became President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 1977, a span of 895 days. Ford, the 38th United States president, succeeded Richard Nixon, who had resigned from office. Prior to this he was the 40th Vice President of the United States, serving from 1973 until President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. He was the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew on October 10, 1973. Ford has the distinction of being the first, and to date the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office.

Federal pardons in the United States US pardons by the federal government

A federal pardon in the United States is the action of the President of the United States that completely sets aside or commutes (lessens) the punishment for a federal crime. The authority to take such action is granted to the president by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Constitution, the president's clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice for investigation and review. The beneficiary of a pardon needs to accept the pardon and acknowledge that the crime did take place.

References

  1. Cooper, Philip J. (2002). By order of the president: the use and abuse of executive direct action (1 ed.). University Press of Kansas. p. 116. ISBN   978-0700611805.
  2. "Federal Register 101: Presidential Documents" (PDF). Office of the Federal Register. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  3. 1 2 Cooper, Phillip J. (1 August 1986). "By Order of the President: Administration by Executive Order and Proclamation". Administration & Society. 18 (2): 233–262. doi:10.1177/009539978601800205.
  4. "Presidential Proclamations Project". University of Houston, Department of Political Science. Archived from the original on 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  5. Presidential Proclamations Project Archived 2010-06-25 at the Wayback Machine , University of Houston, Political Science Dept., Retrieved 2009-12-07
  6. Ford, Gerald (1974-09-08). "Presidential Proclamation 4311 by President Gerald R. Ford granting a pardon to Richard M. Nixon". Pardon images. University of Maryland. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11.
  7. "Proclamation 4483". 2015-01-12. By the President of the United States of America, A Proclamation Granting Pardon for Violations of the Selective Service Act, 4 August 1964 To 28 March 1973. 21 January 1977.
  8. Proclamation 8159 - Grant of Executive Clemency, 2007-07-02, Office of the Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 129, 72 FR 37095