It is the least controversial way for a president to try to influence a court decision.
The thirdranking member of the Justice Department is the president's pick to argue cases for the government before the Supreme Court.
The president's position on cases to which the government is not even a party can be stated in petitions filed by the solicitor general.
The Court takes these petitions very seriously.
The government is successful in its litigation more often than any other litigant, winning over two-thirds of its cases in the past half-century, and often having its arguments cited by the justices themselves in their opinions.
The pardoning power is granted to the president by the Constitution and allows him to exempt a person from punishment for a crime.
This power comes from a traditional power of kings and is used to check the courts.
In dramatic ways, pardons can backfire.
After President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, in the hopes that the nation would heal from its Watergate wounds more quickly if it didn't have to endure the spectacle of its former president on trial, Ford experienced a tremendous backlash that may have contributed to his 1976 loss to Jimmy Carter.
Subsequent presidents have had problems with unpopular pardons.
In his last day in office, Bill Clinton pardoned a large number of people.
Some were unpopular, like the case of fugitive Marc Rich, who was charged with multiple counts of tax fraud, but still were legal.
When pardons like this are motivated by personal, political, or partisan considerations, rather than as a check on the power of the courts, they tend to be seen by the public and the media as presidential abuses of the public trust.
Bush commuted the sentence of the man but didn't pardon him.
Unusual for presidents, who tend to wait until later in their term, Trump issued eleven pardons or commutations in his first two years of office.
The rules governing the executive were initially important to the politicians.
Alexander Hamilton wanted a strong leader and others wanted a multiple executive to ensure checks on the power of the office, so the constitutional compromise provides for a stronger position than many wanted, but one still limited in significant ways from becoming overly powerful and independent.
The Constitution makes it difficult for presidents to leave a legacy of which they can be proud.
It is difficult to navigate around the conflicting roles of the president's job description and the institutions of the bureaucracy, the Congress, and the Court.
The framers set up our system of checks and balances with that in mind.
The framers designed a more limited presidency than we have today.
Most of the policymaking powers are given to Congress, or at least require power sharing and cooperation.
This arrangement was not a problem for most of our history.
As leaders of a rural nation with a relatively restrained government apparatus, presidents through the nineteenth century were content with a limited authority that rested on the grants of powers provided in the Constitution.
Franklin Roosevelt's presidency ushered in a new era in presidential politics.
The presidency outlined in the Constitution is not the presidency of today.
The effective rules governing the presidency have changed so much that scholars now speak of two different presidential eras--before and after the 1930s.
The president's constitutional powers have been the same in both eras, but the interpretation of how far the president can go has changed.
For a little over one hundred years, the traditional presidency was intact.
Their expectations that echoed Hamilton's call for a stronger executive were exceptions.
The powers granted in the Constitution were exceeded by several early presidents.
Washington expanded the president's powers, Jefferson entered into the Louisiana Purchase, and Andrew Jackson became the popular leader.
Lincoln claimed that national security needed a broader presidential role.
The president needed a stronger hand abroad than at home according to others.
The powers that are granted and supported by the Supreme Court are implied by the Constitution.
Since the 1930s, executive power has evolved, but is still a work in progress.
The simple rural nature of life in the United States changed quickly after the founding.
The nation became more industrialized as the country grew west.
There were more people working in factories than on the land.
The federal government became involved in American Indian affairs, developed national parks, and enacted policies dealing with transportation after the postal system expanded.
Government in the 19th century grew beyond the bounds of the rudimentary administrative structure supervised by George Washington, as it responded to the changing challenges of its people and economy.
The Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal caused the size of government to explode and popular ideas about government to change dramatically.
The use of strong presidential power became an expectation of the modern president after being an exception.
They had not prepared Americans for the Great Depression.
The economy went into a tailspin after the stock market crash.
President Herbert Hoover believed that the government only had limited powers and responsibility to deal with a private economic crisis.
There was no presumption that the government was responsible for the state of the economy or for alleviating the economic suffering of its citizens.