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Explanation of the United States Constitution: Article II, The Executive Branch

written by: Trent Lorcher • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 3/9/2014

An explanation of the United States Constitution continues with a look at Article 2 of the Constitution.

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    Section 1: The President

    Use this U.S. Constitution summary to review one of the world's most important documents.Constitution of the United States 

    Section 1 of Article 2 of the Constitution deals with the office of the president. It states, "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."

    Section 1 establishes the electoral college: when voting for a president, voters are actually selecting other people to vote for the president. Each state sends a certain number of electors (the number for each state equals its number of representatives in the House of Representatives + 2) and the electors choose a president. See amendment 12 for changes made to the electoral college.

    The president must be born a United States citizen or be a citizen at the time the Constitution was ratified, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. The president is paid a salary from the United States treasury. His or her salary cannot be increased or decreased while in office.

    The president must take the following oath before becoming president: "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."

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    Sections 2-4

    Section 2 of Article 2 of the Constitution deals with the duties of the president. The president's responsibilities include:

    • Commander in Chief of the armed forces and state militias when called to duty for the United States
    • The power to grant pardons or reprieves for offenses against the United States, excluding impeachments
    • The right to make treaties, with the consent of the Senate
    • The appointment of ambassadors, counsels, Supreme Court judges, and all officers of the United States government with the consent of the Senate

    Section 3 of Article 2 of the Constitution involves State of the Union addresses. The president is required to inform Congress on a regular basis. He may also convene one or both houses during extraordinary circumstances.

    Section 4 of Article 2 addresses impeachments. It states, "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

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    For Further Study

    This U.S. Constitution Summary and explanation of the Constitution, Article 2 is intended as a review. You are strongly encouraged to read and study the actual document.

    The founding fathers wrote the United States Constitution to govern human nature. They understood the natural inclination of rulers to want more power. As the federal government grows larger by the day, it's imperative that citizens of the United States demand their elected officials to return to the Constitution for guidance and hold them accountable to it.

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