what about the departments of the executive branch we hear about the bureaucracy how does that provide a check on presidential power in some very important ways those who serve in in executive departments understand that their departments are created and funded by Congress and shaped by Congress meaning Congress can at any point essentially defund or withdraw appropriations Congress can rewrite the statutes that govern those executive departments and most importantly and students need to understand that when Congress passes a law imposing duties on members of those departments that indeed the president cannot interfere thus creating a certain degree of Independence for those executive departments for members of the bureaucracy from the president can you cite examples of where the pup of where public opinion has checked the powers of the presidency can we as the public do this a very good example of public opinion checking the president occurred in 1936 and 37 when President FDR unveiled his famous or infamous court packing plant his desire to be able to name enough members to the court to counteract the control of the Conservatives over the Supreme Court and he as as as popular as FDR was and he had just won a resounding victory in 1936 winning 65 percent of the popular vote nevertheless the American people resented this popular president for his willingness to tinker with what they regarded as a sacrosanct institution their public opinion helped promote a defeat of his proposal at the hands of Congress so let's quickly turn to the executive branch's role in promoting and protecting individual rights can you talk about some examples of that you know several good examples in our history one of which would be President Harry Truman's decision in 1949 to desegregate the military another good example would the leadership provided by President Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s to promote civil rights and equality through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and let's conclude the lesson by asking you how does the American president differ from a prime minister what are the advantages and disadvantage the great advantage from the standpoint of efficiency and power for the prime minister would be the fusion of legislative and executive powers the Prime Minister sets the agenda knows that his party is going to embrace his proposals and so he has fewer limitations and checks on his actions the president of the United States on the other hand can face a number of checks and balances through public opinion through the actions of the house and the Senate through the Supreme Court and so the president stands for the possibility of being more frustrated in the pursuit of his legislative agenda his presidential ideas and ideals we see that in in a number of presidencies certainly it's fair to say that President Barack Obama has been greatly frustrated by congressional efforts to undermine his pursuit of his own agenda and it's certainly been true of other presidents as well you