Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Maverick Clause

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.7.3: "Every order, resolution, or vote requiring the concurrence of the Senate and the House of Representatives (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States and be approved by him before it takes effect."

This provision is considered to be a maverick clause because it is inconsistent with other provisions of the Constitution. It is usually treated as such by both Congress and the White House.

According to W. Cleon Skousen, "This provision is the one clause in the Constitution which is considered to have been inadequately drafted. It was apparently designed to protect the RIGHT of the President to review all resolutions and legislative enactments of the Congress before such legislation or resolutions can take effect. However, there are a number of things besides their mutual adjournment which the Constitution itself excludes from the scrutiny or veto power of the President." Skousen gives several examples: 1) After both Houses of Congress have approved an amendment to the Constitution, it goes directly to the states for possible ratification. 2) Congress can suspend the President's war powers by a joint resolution and without the President's approval. 3) Occasions when the House and Senate agree between themselves on "deployment of funds for their mutual support services." (See
The Making of America - the Substance and Meaning of the Constitutio, pp 360-361.)

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