United States antitrust law
United States Antitrust law is a collection of federal and state government laws that regulates the conduct and organization of business corporations to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers. The main statutes are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; these Acts, restrict the formation of cartels and prohibit other collusive practices regarded as being in restraint of trade. Second, they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations that could lessen competition. Third, they prohibit the abuse of monopoly power; the Federal Trade Commission, the U. S. Department of Justice, state governments and private parties who are sufficiently affected may all bring actions in the courts to enforce the antitrust laws; the scope of antitrust laws, the degree to which they should interfere in an enterprise's freedom to conduct business, or to protect smaller businesses and consumers, are debated. One view closely associated with the "Chicago School of economics" suggests that antitrust laws should focus on the benefits to consumers and overall efficiency, while a broad range of legal and economic theory sees the role of antitrust laws as controlling economic power in the public interest.
Although "trust" has a specific legal meaning, in the late 19th century the word was used to denote big business, because that legal instrument was used to effect a combination of companies. Large manufacturing conglomerates emerged in great numbers in the 1880s and 1890s, were perceived to have excessive economic power; the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 began a shift towards federal rather than state regulation of big business. It was followed by the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, the Robinson–Patman Act of 1936, the Celler–Kefauver Act of 1950. At this time hundreds of small short-line railroads were being bought up and consolidated into giant systems. People for strong antitrust laws argued that, in order for the American economy to be successful, it would require free competition and the opportunity for individual Americans to build their own businesses; as Senator John Sherman put it, "If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production and sale of any of the necessaries of life."
Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act unanimously in 1890, it remains the core of antitrust policy. The Act prohibits agreements in restraint of abuse of monopoly power, it gives the Justice Department the mandate to go to federal court for orders to stop illegal behavior or to impose remedies. Public officials during the Progressive Era put passing and enforcing strong antitrust high on their agenda. President Theodore Roosevelt sued 45 companies under the Sherman Act, while William Howard Taft sued 75. In 1902, Roosevelt stopped the formation of the Northern Securities Company, which threatened to monopolize transportation in the Northwest. One of the more well known trusts was the Standard Oil Company. In 1911 the Supreme Court agreed, it broke the monopoly into three dozen separate companies that competed with one another, including Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, Standard Oil Company of New York, of California, so on. In approving the breakup the Supreme Court added the "rule of reason": not all big companies, not all monopolies, are evil.
To be harmful, a trust had to somehow damage the economic environment of its competitors. United States Steel Corporation, much larger than Standard Oil, won its antitrust suit in 1920 despite never having delivered the benefits to consumers that Standard Oil did. In fact, it lobbied for tariff protection that reduced competition, so contending that it was one of the "good trusts" that benefited the economy is somewhat doubtful. International Harvester survived its court test, while other monopolies were broken up in tobacco and bathtub fixtures. Over the years hundreds of executives of competing companies who met together illegally to fix prices went to federal prison. In 1914 Congress passed the Clayton Act, which prohibited specific business actions if they lessened competition. At the same time Congress established the Federal Trade Commission, whose legal and business experts could force business to agree to "consent decrees", which provided an alternative mechanism to police antitrust.
American hostility to big business began to decrease after the Progressive Era. For example, Ford Motor Company dominated auto manufacturing, built millions of cheap cars that put America on wheels, at the same time lowered prices, raised wages, promoted manufacturing efficiency. Welfare capitalism made large companies an attractive place to work.
The International Criminal Police Organization, more known as Interpol, is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation. It was established in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission. INTERPOL has an annual budget of around €113 million, most of, provided through annual contributions by its membership of police forces in 181 countries. In 2013, the INTERPOL General Secretariat employed a staff of 756, representing 100 member countries, its current Secretary-General is Jürgen Stock, the former deputy head of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office. He replaced Ronald Noble, a former United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, who stepped down in November 2014 after serving 14 years. Interpol's current President is Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, replacing Meng Hongwei, Deputy Minister of Public Security of China, alleged to have resigned via an undersigned postal letter in October 2018 after his detention and disappearance by Chinese authorities on corruption charges.
To keep INTERPOL as politically neutral as possible, its charter forbids it from undertaking interventions or activities of a political, religious, or racial nature or involving itself in disputes over such matters. Its work focuses on public safety and battling transnational crimes against humanity, child pornography, drug trafficking, environmental crime, human trafficking, illicit drug production, copyright infringement, missing people, illicit traffic in works of art, intellectual property crime, money laundering, organized crime, terrorism, war crimes, weapons smuggling, white-collar crime. In the first part of the 20th century, several efforts were taken to formalize international police cooperation, but they failed. Among these efforts were the First International Criminal Police Congress in Monaco in 1914, the International Police Conference in New York in 1922; the Monaco Congress failed because it was organized by legal experts and political officials, not by police professionals, while the New York Conference failed to attract international attention.
In 1923, a new initiative was taken at the International Criminal Police Congress in Vienna, where the International Criminal Police Commission was founded as the direct forerunner of INTERPOL. Founding members included police officials from Austria, Belgium, China, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Yugoslavia; the United Kingdom joined in 1928. The United States did not join Interpol until 1938, although a US police officer unofficially attended the 1923 congress. Following Anschluss in 1938, the organization fell under the control of Nazi Germany, the Commission's headquarters were moved to Berlin in 1942. Most members withdrew their support during this period. From 1938 to 1945, the presidents of the ICPC included Otto Steinhäusl, Reinhard Heydrich, Arthur Nebe, Ernst Kaltenbrunner. All were generals in the SS, Kaltenbrunner was the highest ranking SS officer executed after the Nuremberg Trials. After the end of World War II in 1945, the organization was revived as the International Criminal Police Organization by officials from Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
Its new headquarters were established in Paris from 1967 in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris. They remained there until 1989; until the 1980s, INTERPOL did not intervene in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in accordance with Article 3 of its Charter, which prohibited intervention in "political" matters. In July 2010, former INTERPOL President Jackie Selebi was found guilty of corruption by the South African High Court in Johannesburg for accepting bribes worth €156,000 from a drug trafficker. After being charged in January 2008, Selebi resigned as president of INTERPOL and was put on extended leave as National Police Commissioner of South Africa, he was temporarily replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, the National Commissioner of Investigations Police of Chile and former vice president for the American Zone, who remained acting president until the appointment of Khoo Boon Hui in October 2008. On 8 November 2012, the 81st General Assembly closed with the election of Deputy Central Director of the French Judicial Police Mireille Ballestrazzi as the first female president of the organization.
In November 2016, Meng Hongwei, a politician from the People's Republic of China, was elected president during the 85th Interpol General Assembly, was to serve in this capacity until 2020. At the end of September 2018, Meng was reported missing during a trip to China, after being "taken away" for questioning by "discipline authorities". Chinese police confirmed that Meng had been arrested on charges of bribery as part of a national anti-corruption campaign. On 7 October 2018, INTERPOL announced that Meng had resigned his post with immediate effect and that the Presidency would be temporarily occupied by INTERPOL Senior Vice-President Kim Jong Yang of South Korea. On 21 November 2018, INTERPOL's General Assembly elected Kim to fill the remainder of Meng's term, in a controversial election which saw accusations that the other candidate, Vice President Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, had used INTERPOL notices to target critics of the Russian government; the role of INTERPOL is defined by the general provisions of its constitution.
Article 2 states that its role is: To ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities within the limi
Competition Bureau (Canada)
The Competition Bureau is an independent Canadian law enforcement agency that ensures that markets operate in a competitive, innovative manner. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act; the current Commissioner of Competition is Matthew Boswell. He served as Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition before being appointed to his current position; the Commissioner is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act and three labelling statutes, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Precious Metals Marking Act and the Textile Labelling Act. Under the Competition Act, the Commissioner can launch inquiries, challenge civil and merger matters before the Competition Tribunal, make recommendations on criminal matters to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, intervene as a competition advocate before federal and provincial bodies.
As head of the Canadian Competition Bureau, the Commissioner leads the Bureau's participation in international fora such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Competition Network, to develop and promote coordinated competition laws and policies in an globalized marketplace. Matthew Boswell — Commissioner of Competition Jeanne Pratt — Senior Deputy Commissioner and Monopolistic Practices Branch Vicky Eatrides — Acting Senior Deputy Commissioner and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch Alexa Gendron-O'Donnell — Acting Deputy Commissioner, Competition Promotion Branch Ana Maia — Executive Director, Corporate Services Branch The Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch reviews proposed merger transactions and investigates practices that could negatively impact competition; the Mergers Directorate reviews proposed mergers to assess whether the transactions are to prevent or lessen competition in the marketplace. The Monopolistic Practices Directorate detects and deters business practices that have a negative impact on competition, such as abuse of dominance, as well as certain types of anti‑competitive agreements or arrangements between competitors.
The Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch fights criminal or deceptive business practices that hurt consumers and competition in the marketplace. The Cartels Directorate detects and deters genuine cartels, including conspiracies, agreements or arrangements among competitors and potential competitors to fix prices, rig bids, allocate markets or restrict supply; the Directorate reaches out to stakeholders engaged in procurement to enable them to detect and deter bid-rigging and other cartel activities. The Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate detects and deters false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices identified under the Competition Act; the Directorate enforces related legislation, i.e. the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Precious Metals Marking Act and the Textile Labelling Act. The Competition Promotion Branch encourages the adoption of pro-competition positions and behaviors by businesses, regulators and international partners; the Branch provides economic analysis in support of enforcement, leads the Bureau's planning and reporting processes.
Within this branch is the International Affairs Directorate, which establishes working relationships with foreigns competition law agencies and tribunals. The Corporate Services Branch provides advice and services for the effective operation of the Bureau's financial, information management and human resource activities, as well as access to information, privacy and ethics, security and procurement matters; the Branch provides expertise in complaint management and evidence collection and preservation in support of the Bureau's mandate. The Competition Bureau Legal Services of the Department of Justice is responsible for providing legal services to the Commissioner and for representing the Commissioner on all matters other than those for which the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible; the Competition Law Section of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for initiating and conducting criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada and for advising the Bureau on criminal investigations.
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Competition Bureau website
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building is the Washington, D. C. headquarters of the United States Department of Justice. The building is located at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, on a trapezoidal lot on the block bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue to the north, Constitution Avenue to the south, 9th Street to the east, 10th Street NW to the west, in the Federal Triangle, it is located west of the National Archives Building, east of the Internal Revenue Service Building, north of the National Mall, south of the J. Edgar Hoover Building; the building is owned by the General Services Administration. It comprises seven floors and 1,200,000 sq ft, it houses Department of Justice offices, including the office of the United States Attorney General. It was Completed in 1935. In 2001, it was renamed after Robert F. Kennedy the 64th Attorney General of the United States; the Office of the Attorney General was created by the 1st United States Congress by the Judiciary Act of 1789. In 1792, the Congress made the Attorney General a Cabinet-level post.
In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating the Department of Justice. Still, there was not yet a permanent home for either the Attorney General or the Justice Department, each had occupied a succession of temporary spaces in federal government buildings and owned office buildings. While plans to provide the Department with its own building were developed as early as 1910, it was not until the late 1920s that significant progress was made toward this goal. In 1908 and in 1928, Congress authorized the purchase of land in what is now known as the Federal Triangle for departmental offices; the authorization was part of a wave of government construction. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon and the Board of Architectural Consultants, composed of leading architects and headed by Edward H. Bennett of the Chicago architectural firm of Bennett, Parsons & Frost, developed design guidelines for the site. Under Bennett's direction, each member of the board designed one of the buildings in the Federal Triangle complex to "provide each government agency or bureau with a building that would address its functional needs, while combining the individual buildings into a harmonious, monumental overall design expressive of the dignity and authority of the federal government."
Milton Bennett Medary of the Philadelphia firm Zantzinger, Borie & Medary was selected as the architect for the Department of Justice Building. Zantzinger. In 1930, Congress appropriated $10 million for the construction of a permanent Department of Justice headquarters in the Federal Triangle; the building was constructed from 1931 to 1934. Upon completion in 1935, the building provided a headquarters for the Attorney General and Department of Justice. From 1935 to 1941 68 murals were painted in the building. In 1966, the Department of Justice building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. In 1974, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, headquartered in the same building, moved into its own headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building across the street on Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1978, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established after the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; the court of 11 judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States meets in secret.
From March 1998 to January 2006, major renovations to the building took place, including work on plumbing, electrical wiring and cooling, elevators. The project included replication of original lighting for the building's corridors and other ornamental spaces. A new $3.1 Million conference center and "data room" were built, the main library and executive suites were restored, a new mechanical and plumbing system was installed. The project's submitting firm and construction manager was the Gilbane Building Company, the architectural firm was Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates, the structural engineering firm was Delon Hampton Associates, the mechanical/electrical engineer was H. F. Lenz Company. Several difficulties were present: The building had to remain operational during renovations, hazardous materials were involved, with a large-scale asbestos abatement effort, lead paint removal, the handling of mercury-vapor lamps with PCBs; the Gilbane Building Company established a "stop-work" rule to halt construction when hazardous material was discovered.
An additional complication was security concerns, because of sensitive and classified information in the building. According to Building Design & Construction, construction personnel were "classified into three tiers and were permitted access to specific building areas based on these three levels of security clearance." The extensive murals and plaster reliefs in the building were protected with shields during the construction, temperature and dust controls were installed. The cost of the renovations was $142 Million, but the project came in $4.2 Million under budget, in part due to significant conservation efforts. Design consultants decided to renovate courtyard plaza and garage structures instead of demolishing them, using 95 percent of existing materials. Cobblestone blocks in the courtyard were "removed, cleaned and reinstalled," with "the foun
Makan Delrahim is an Iranian-American lawyer who serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U. S. Department of Justice. Makan Delrahim was born on November 1969, in Tehran, Iran, his family are Persian Jews, they immigrated to the United States in 1979. Like many other Iranian Jewish immigrants, Delrahim's family settled in California. Delrahim struggled in elementary school because he did not speak English, though he learned it quickly, he helped with his family's business where he worked at his father's gas station outside the metropolitan Los Angeles area. Delrahim excelled in high school, was accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1991 with a B. S. in kinesiology. He received a Specialization in Business/Economics, he attended the George Washington University Law School, graduating in 1995 with a J. D. with High Honors. Delrahim became a naturalized U. S. citizen while in law school. Delrahim earned a M. S. in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University in 2002.
While in law school, Delrahim worked at the Office of Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health, on intellectual property issues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President. After law school, Delrahim joined the Washingon, D. C. law firm, Patton Boggs, LLP. In 1998, Delrahim became a counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, working under the -Chairman, Senator Orrin G. Hatch. Delrahim worked on intellectual property and antitrust issues, including patent reform and the investigation into Microsoft. Delrahim became the Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, until his appointment at the Department of Justice in 2003 Jon Leibowitz, President Obama's Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, a Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee aide and worked with Delrahim, remembered him as being creative and a pragmatist. From 2003 through 2005, Delrahim served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the administration of President George W. Bush.
While there, he oversaw the Division's International and Policy sections and was the Chairman of the Merger Working Group of the International Competition Network. Delrahim served as a Commissioner on the bi-partisan blue ribbon Antitrust Modernization Commission, serving with former Chiefs of the Antitrust Division, Sanford Litvack, John Shenefield, ABA Antitrust Section Chair, Jon Jacobson. After the DOJ, Delrahim next joined the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, in Los Angeles, where he focused his work on antitrust, intellectual property and appellate matters, his clients included Anthem Inc. Qualcomm, Zuffa. In March 2016, Delrahim published an op-ed in the New York Post arguing that due to the importance of future U. S. Supreme Court nominations, Republicans should not oppose, instead should support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. After Trump's victory in the 2016 U. S. presidential election, Delrahim was active in Trump's presidential transition. After the inauguration of Donald Trump, Delrahim became Deputy White House Counsel and assisted in shepherding United States Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch through the United States Senate confirmation process.
In March 2017, Trump announced his nomination of Delrahim as Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division. This role, which required U. S. Senate confirmation, entails overseeing criminal cartel enforcement as well as corporate mergers and acquisitions. In September 2017, he was approved 73–21 by the U. S. Senate; when he arrived on the job he was gifted a hat with "Makan Antitrust Great Again" written upon it, by the staff of the Justice Department. When interviewed, Delrahim emphasized that under U. S. law, a monopoly is legal as long. Delrahim has given speeches arguing that behavioral remedies in consent decrees to remedy an otherwise illegal merger are ineffective and that antitrust enforcers should instead employ structural remedies such as divestment. On November 20, 2017, Delrahim filed a lawsuit under Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 to block AT&T's $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. On June 12, 2018, U. S. District Judge Richard J. Leon refused to block the merger.
Department of Justice has since appealed this outcome. On May 29, 2018, Delrahim required one of the largest structural divestitures, as a condition of approving Bayer's $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. DOJ profile Appearances on C-SPAN Inside the Trump White House: Iranian-American Makan Delrahim is Deputy Counsel to the President
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and distribution within the United States. The DEA is the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, sharing concurrent jurisdiction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs Enforcement, U. S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security, it has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing US drug investigations both domestic and abroad. The Drug Enforcement Administration was established on July 1, 1973, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1973, signed by President Richard Nixon on July 28. It proposed the creation of a single federal agency to enforce the federal drug laws as well as consolidate and coordinate the government's drug control activities. Congress accepted the proposal; as a result, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement.
From the early 1970s, DEA headquarters was located at 1405 I Street NW in downtown Washington, D. C. With the overall growth of the agency in the 1980s and a concurrent growth in the headquarters staff, DEA began to search for a new headquarters location. However, then-Attorney General Edwin Meese determined that the headquarters had to be located in close proximity to the Attorney General's office. Thus, in 1989, the headquarters relocated to 600–700 Army-Navy Drive in the Pentagon City area of Arlington, near the Metro station with the same name. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh attacked the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City because it housed regional offices for the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, DEA, all of which had carried out raids that he viewed as unjustified intrusions on the rights of the people. Subsequently, the DEA headquarters complex was classified as a Level IV installation under United States federal building security standards, meaning it was to be considered a high-risk law enforcement target for terrorists.
Security measures include hydraulic steel roadplates to enforce standoff distance from the building, metal detectors, guard stations. In February 2003, the DEA established a Digital Evidence Laboratory within its Office of Forensic Sciences; the DEA is headed by an Administrator of Drug Enforcement appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U. S. Senate; the Administrator reports to the Attorney General through the Deputy Attorney General. The Administrator is assisted by a Deputy Administrator, the Chief of Operations, the Chief Inspector, three Assistant Administrators. Other senior staff include the Chief Counsel; the Administrator and Deputy Administrator are the only presidentially-appointed personnel in the DEA. DEA's headquarters is located in Virginia across from the Pentagon, it maintains its own DEA Academy located on the Marine Corps Base Quantico at Quantico, Virginia along with the FBI Academy. It maintains 21 domestic field divisions with 221 field offices and 92 foreign offices in 70 countries.
With a budget exceeding $2 billion, DEA employs over 10,800 people, including over 4,600 Special Agents and 800 Intelligence Analysts. Becoming a Special Agent or Intelligence Analyst with the DEA is a competitive process. Administrator Deputy Administrator Human Resource Division Career Board Board of Professional Conduct Office of Training Operations Division Aviation Division Office of Operations Management Special Operations Division Office of Diversion Control Office of Global Enforcement Office of Financial Operations Intelligence Division Office of National Security Intelligence Office of Strategic Intelligence Office of Special Intelligence El Paso Intelligence Center OCDETF Fusion Center Financial Management Division Office of Acquisition and Relocation Management Office of Finance Office of Resource Management Operational Support Division Office of Administration Office of Information System Office of Forensic Science Office of Investigative Technology Inspection Division Office of Inspections Office of Professional Responsibility Office of Security Programs Field Divisions and Offices As of 2017 there were 4,650 special agents employed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
DEA agents' starting salary is $49,746–$55,483. After four years working as an agent, the salary jumps to above $92,592. After receiving a conditional offer of employment, recruits must complete a 18-week rigorous training which includes lessons in firearms proficiency, weapons safety, tactical shooting, deadly-force decision training. In order to graduate, students must maintain an academic average of 80 percent on academic examinations, pass the firearms-qualification test demonstrate leadership and sound decision-making in practical scenarios, pass rigorous physical-task tests. Upon graduation, recruits earn the title of DEA Special Agent; the DEA excludes from consideration job applicants who have a history of any use of narcotics or illicit drugs. Investigation incl
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh