A Divided Government as a Factor that Constrains Unilateral Decisions

290 views 2 pages ~ 336 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Executive orders are strategic instruments constitutionally granted to a president to help find a way around the policy-making process. This paper explores a divided government as a factor that constrains unilateral decisions, the power of the presidency that serves in checks and balances on the legislature and judiciary.

 A divided government is the main factor that constrains unilateral decisions made by the executive. The Congress can simply threaten to oppose the decision. For example, the president as the commander of the armed forces can send the troop to missions in a certain region, but the decision on military funding is solely for the legislature, who, when opposed to the decision, can delay funding (Bolton & Thrower, 2016). The president can, however, veto their decision but in a divided government, the Congress and the Senate can decide to override the veto by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.

The executive branch, however, has veto powers to approve a bill into law or deny it, adjourn or convene a congress and thus serves as a check on policy-making powers of the legislative arm of the government (Bolton & Thrower, 2016). Moreover, although the judiciary is also an independent arm of the government, the president appoints all federal judges.

During Obama’s regime, Republican lawmakers felt that his administration did not follow the law when it created programs that deterred deportation of immigrants, who were found with inadequate documentation (Masters, 2017). Here, the legislature acts as a constraint to a unilateral decision made by the executive.


Executive orders are not always a smooth ride and they are dependent on the constitutional provisions and the legislative capacity of the Congress. When a president has a congressional majority, he can create policies that will face little of no divergent ideologies.


Bolton, A., and Thrower, S. (2016). Legislative Capacity and the Executive Unilateralism. American Journals of Political Science, 60(3), 649-663.

Masters, J. (2017). The U.S. Foreign Policy Powers: Congress and President. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 29 March 2018, from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-foreign-policy-powers-congress-and-the-president

August 01, 2023

Government History

Number of pages


Number of words




This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro