PRESIDENT OF USA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     1st June 2024        

Context: Donald Trump became the first former US president ever convicted of a crime after a New York jury found him guilty on all charges in his hush money case.

President of USA

  • About: The President of the United States serves as both the Head of State and the Head of Government, wielding executive powers and overseeing the administration of the government.

o The President of India does not have the same level of executive authority as the President of the United States. They act on the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

  • Term and Re-election: The President serves a term of four years and can be re-elected for a maximum of two terms, allowing for continuity or change in leadership based on popular mandate.

o The President of India serves a fixed term of five years.

  • Eligibility: The US Constitution outlines age, citizenship, and residency requirements for presidential candidates.
  • No Limitations on Character: There are no explicit restrictions based on character or criminal record for presidential candidacy.
  • Prison Cell Presidency: Even serving as president from a prison cell isn't prohibited by the Constitution.
  • Limited Role: The President does not have a direct role in forming the government. Instead, the President is elected separately from the legislative branch, and government formation is the prerogative of the winning party in Congress.
  • Pardon Power: The President of the US holds the constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences related to federal crimes, a power granted without limit by the US Supreme Court.
  • Impeachment and Removal: According to the US Constitution, the President can be impeached and removed from office for conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours, ensuring a mechanism for accountability and checks on executive power.

    o The Indian Constitution specifies that the President can be removed only for "violation of the Constitution," a phrase left undefined, leaving room for interpretation and potential political contention.