The Presidency 23

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24.     The Written Opinion Clause appears to limit the President in several ways. The president may seek information only from federal Executive Branch officers, not from the legislative or judicial branches, and not from any state or local offices.  The president may require accountability from officers only in their public capacity, and only as it relates to the public duties of their offices – a president may not inquire into their private lives nor compel them to serve his (or her) own needs.  In addition, the requirement for written responses makes it harder for officials and for the President to hide or obscure the nature of their supervisory transactions.

Image: Benjamin Harrison. Pach Brothers Photography.

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