Inherent Powers Of President: Definition, Types And Examples

Inherent powers are those powers owned by the President that are not explicitly specified in the United States Constitution. Though these powers are not specified, they are allowed necessary in some situations in order for the President to efficiently fulfill his or her responsibilities. Some people have disclosed concern that the broadly portrayed inherent powers held by the U.S. President are too open-ended, allowing the Commander in Chief to conduct without check-and-balance by Congress.

The President and Congress have exerted inherent powers throughout history, mainly in the event of national emergencies, when rapid action is required. Or we can understand that the Inherent powers are those powers that Congress and the president need in order to get the job done right. Although not specified in the constitution, they are reasonable powers that are a logical part of the powers delegated to congress and the president.

What are the inherent Powers?

Inherent powers point out to those powers over and beyond those explicitly signified out in the Constitution or which can reasonably be mentioned from express grants. It is the authority possessed implicitly without its being evolved from another. The power may be incurred to the nature of sovereignty or to a permissive perception of the language of the Constitution. In the American constitutional structure, the presence of inherent powers has always been a contested point.

Inherent Powers

Inherent Powers

Those disagreed with the concept of inherent powers contend that the government and all its officers develop their authority from the Constitution, whose terms contain all the powers that the people tried to grant.

Those in favor of inherent powers uphold it on account of the language of the empowering clauses of Articles I and II of the Constitution, or from the character of the chief executive as commander of the armed forces and as the official initially responsible for the conservation of law and order, or from the status of the president as head of sovereign democracy.

The Supreme Court commonly tries to find authority for governmental amendments in the Constitution. However, the court has also been uncertain to insist on narrow interpretations of the executive powers awarded by the Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court has discovered federal inherent powers to take land through eminent domain proceedings, to bring inland by discovery and occupation, to exclude or admit aliens, and to sell munitions to belligerent nations.

Inherent Powers of the President

Article II of the Constitution mentions somewhat little about the role of the president in the United States. But it does mention that the president must protect that laws are faithfully accomplished. This important provision has been used by presidents to widen the inherent power that they can use.

Executive Orders

Executive orders are one form of inherent power that the president has. As an example, we can view President Barack Obama’s choice to raise the federal minimum wage for all workers of the federal government. According to the Constitution, the right to monitor the minimum wage is restricted to Congress under the interstate commerce section.

But, since Obama works as the president, he is in charge of the executive branch and has determined that all workers for the executive branch will be paid at least $10.10, way more than the $7.25 an hour now constitutionally mandated for all private-sector workers. Obama has the power to make such a change under his capability to inspect the executive branch of government.

Executive Privilege

Executive Privilege is the right of administrators of the executive branch to ignore to disclose some information to other branches of government or to the public. It includes refusing to occur before congressional committees. Executive privilege is an inherent power that is not clearly prescribed, and the courts have had to set restrictions on the use of the privilege.

In 1974, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that executive privilege could not be enforced to prohibit evidence from being used in criminal processes against the president.

Enforcing (or not Enforcing) the Law

Another inherent power of the president is the strength to determine how vigorously a law is imposed. An example here is President Obama’s decision not to deport children who have lived in the United States for most of their lives but were taken illegally by their parents at a young age.

Obama announced this executive order after Congress hindered on passing the Dream Act, a bill that would allow undocumented child migrants to be able to study in American universities. Technically, the president cannot make immigration laws. That is a right reserved to Congress. But the president is in charge of invoking the immigration laws.

And in this case, the Obama administration has originally said that children of a certain age will not be deported while attending a university. In other words, Obama is not going to prosecute the staying immigration law against these children. Officially, Obama is not suggesting them a path to legalization, but the idea is that such students will earn special training that will qualify them for a service visa in the United States.

This example shows how a president can exert power by not enforcing the law. Some oppositions of Obama have blamed that his executive orders and misstep to enforce the law have been unconstitutional. House Speaker John Boehner has even prepared a process to prosecute the president for failing to live up to his constitutional obligations.

Violation of Power and Impeachment

If the president violates power, the House of Representatives can Discredit him, or formally charge him of committing crimes serious enough to call for removal from office. The Senate then tries the impeached president to detect whether he is innocent or guilty of the charges.

If condemned, the president is removed from office. Two presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson in 1867 and Bill Clinton in 1998, but no president has been imprisoned by the Senate and removed from office. Richard Nixon would perhaps have been convicted for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, which is why he dropped in 1974 before the House began impeachment processes.

Presidential Leadership

To be successful, a president must be an effective leader, someone who successfully involves in Statecraft, the combination of power and intelligence in service of the public good. Scholars have long read the art of statecraft and have debated what it takes for a president to be successful.

Stagecraft always includes the following traits:

Political Skill: the ability to persuade, cajole, or coerce people

Prudence: the ability to apply general principles to specific situations in a successful manner

Opportunity: The ability to behave indecisive and meaningful ways

The Illusion Of Presidential Government

Presidents wish to reveal an image of strength and effectiveness to the public, but in reality, the president’s power is generally constrained and limited. In 1981, presidential scholar Hugh Heclo stamped the viewpoint that the president is in charge of the government the “illusion of presidential government.”

Depicting strength and confidence can be a successful strategy, but it can also backfire because a president who shows too successful may get blamed later for anything that goes wrong.


What if there is a worker strike that imperils public safety or the ability of the federal government to execute its laws? According to the Supreme Court, the president does have the ability to use this type of inherent power, the right to order an injunction. An injunction is a formal order by the government to do some action.


What Does Inherent Mean In-Law?
Derived From The Essential Nature Of, And Inseparable From, The Object Itself. An Object Which Is Inherently Dangerous Is One That Possesses Potential Hazard By Its Mere Existence, Such As Explosives.
What Are The Inherent Powers Of The Court?
Courts Have Inherent Power To Pass Interim Orders For Ends Of Justice Or To Prevent Failure Of Justice. It Has Been Observed By The Supreme Court That The Interests Of Justice Are The Prime Consideration In Granting Or Not Granting Prayers In A Petition Under S.
Where Do Inherent Powers Come From?
Inherent Power Has Been Defined In This Manner: “An Authority Possessed Without Its Being Derived From Another. Powers Over And Beyond Those Explicitly Granted In The Constitution Or Reasonably To Be Implied From Express Powers” (Black 1979, 703).
What Are The 3 Inherent Powers Of Government?
These Three Powers Of Eminent Domain, Police, And Taxation Were Acknowledged As Legitimate Attributes Of Government By Natural Law Theorists, And They Are Today The Principal Means By Which American Govern- Ments Regulate And Control Property.
What Is The Difference Between Implied And Inherent Powers?
The Difference Between Implied And Inherent Powers Is Where You Will Find Them. You, Will, Not Find Inherent Powers Established In The Constitution. That Is Because Inherent Powers Are Those That The Government Needs To Be Able To Get Their Job Done Right.
What Is An Example Of Inherent Powers?
At Various Times In American History, Presidents Have Claimed “Inherent” Powers To Take Certain Actions In Periods Of Emergency. President Truman’s Seizure Of Steel Mills In 1952 Is One Example. Another Is The Claim By President Nixon That He Could Order Domestic Surveillance. Those Claims Were Struck Down In Court.