Ankita Goyal

Sep 11, 2018

5 min read

14 Things the President of the United States isn’t Allowed to Do

Find out what the most powerful person CAN’T do!

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

We are all familiar with this quote which was made famous by Spider-Man. It is true though, isn’t it? Once handed with great power, one needs to be careful and responsible. What if you were on one of the most powerful thrones in the world? Would you still be able to go out with your friends? Maybe not. Would you still be hungover on Mondays? Nope. Your life wouldn’t remain normal anymore.

That is the case with the president of the United States (POTUS), one of the most powerful positions in the world. From going out alone to driving, there are a lot of things that the president cannot do. There are also a lot of things which we believe he can do but aren’t really within his scope of authority. Like declaring war. Or making medical marijuana legal.

So maybe President Trump cannot really declare war on North Korea. What else can he not do?

See for yourself!

There are a lot of rules regarding mobile phones for the president. They are approved by the Secret Service first and have a lot of limitations. Apparently, President Trump uses a ‘secure, encrypted device’ which probably can’t even take photos or play music. Weird, right?

US presidents aren’t allowed to drive on an open road. Even the former presidents are given a lifetime protection by the Secret Service which includes a driver. Looks like you tend to miss out on the basics once you become the president.

Same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and the president can not really change it. To bring any kind of change, the Supreme Court has to make the ruling.

‘Football’ is the nickname given to the briefcase which the Secret Service carries whenever they are out with the president. The exact contents of it are unknown but it does provide means to contact the National Military Command Center (which the president can activate using a laminated card) in case of an emergency.

The president of the United States cannot accept expensive gifts from other world leaders and dignitaries. The maximum limit was set to $375 back in 2014. Most of the gifts go to the National Archives, anyway.

The power to declare war lies entirely with Congress. Although the sitting president is required to sign the declaration of war, it is not up to him or her to declare war on any country. So, before President Trump officially declares a war on North Korea, he will need to get approval from the Congress first!

Student debt cannot be entirely waived by the president of the United States. Even for the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness program, there were a lot of prerequisites for anyone to qualify.

The safety of the president is the utmost concern of the Secret Service. So, the presidents cannot really go anywhere before giving a four-hour notice to them.

The Constitution can only be amended once the ‘Constitutional Amendment’ goes through the majority of elected representatives at the Federal and State level. It has only happened 27 times since 1789.

Yep, you read that right. The president (POTUS) cannot open the windows of the White House or the official transportation, due to security concerns as per the Secret Service.

There are laws to limit the number of immigrants legally allowed in the US every year. So it is not only the president’s decision to decide how many people come in or go out.

The US president cannot seize anyone’s firearms without a legal reason or cause. The second amendment protects that right of the people.

The president cannot legalize the use of marijuana for recreational or medical purposes. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) would have to get involved to bring any kind of change all over the US. States have the power to legalize it in their particular regions though.

The presidents aren’t allowed to have incomes other than the government salary. Any kinds of investment a president has, usually go to a blind trust until he or she leaves the office.