Category Archives: US Executive

What are the differences between the US and UK ‘Order of Succession’?

Charles III immediately became Monarch following the death of Elizabeth II.

The term ‘order of succession’ in the UK refers to the passage of the Crown upon the death of the Monarch. Upon the death of Elizabeth II on the 8th September 2022 the Crown immediately passed to Prince Charles who became King Charles III. In time, the Crown will pass to Prince William and then Prince George. However, whilst there is a clear order of succession for the Head of State, what is the political order of succession for the Head of Government and how does this compare to the United States?

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Was last week the worst of Trump’s Presidency?

It has been an awful press week for Donald Trump. On Monday, a new book was published by Bob Woodward called Fear: Trump in the White House. This book claims to feature a number of sources close to the President outlining the chaos and disunity at the heart of Trump’s administration. Among other things it says:
  • Aides have hid government papers from the President to “protect the country”.
  • Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, described the President as “unhinged” and it said it was the worst job he had ever had.
  • Trump failed a practice interview with the US Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, and would have perjured himself if the interview were real.

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What did Alexander Hamilton call the ‘Benign Prerogative’?

The first Secretary of the Treasury, and Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton famously called Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution the ‘benign prerogative’. This is what the article says:

“he [the President] shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment”.

Yet there have been times in US History where the prerogative has been anything but benign. The number of pardons issued by different Presidents varies greatly. The highest number was issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt who pardoned 3,687 individuals, many of whom had fought in the Second World War. Contrarily, Presidents William Harrison and James Garfield both issued a grand total of zero pardons.

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