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AP Gov



Unit 2

2.5 Checks on the Presidency

1 min readjune 11, 2020


Akhilesh Shivaramakrishnan

As you know by now, checks and balances are a huge theme in AP US Government and Politics. It is essential that you understand these in detail before you enter the exam session! In this section, we will discuss some checks on the Presidency.

Executive Appointments and Senate Confirmation

The president has the power to appoint people to several positions, including cabinet members, ambassadors, and judges, all of which are subject to Senate approval.
The Cabinet includes 15 executive departments, and each of the heads must be approved by the Senate. A key concept that you may want to keep in mind is that loyalty of Cabinet heads may be more towards their own department 🤭, rather than the entirety of the federal government or the president’s agenda.
White House Staff have a particularly powerful role because often they include those that are closest to the President 🤏. This group does not need to be confirmed by the Senate.

President’s Influence

A President’s lasting influence often comes from their judicial appointments - judges serve for life under good behavior. Federal judges 👩🏽‍⚖️ MUST be confirmed by the Senate. We will discuss some more specifics around the judicial nomination process in the later sections of this guide.
🎥 Watch: AP GOPO - Checks on Presidential Power


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