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, July 8, 2012

President Administers Affairs

                    The topic of discussion of this Constitution Monday comes from Article II, Section 1, Clause 1:  "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." This provision in the Constitution states that responsibility of administering all the affairs of the United States of America belongs to the executive branch and specifically to the President.

                    "It may surprise the modern student to learn that one of the big issues at the Constitutional Convention was whether to have a single president or several.  James Wilson originally emphasized the need to fix responsibility in a single executive, but Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia thought there was a greater safety in numbers and recommended at least three presidents - one to represent New England, one to represent the middle states, and one to represent the south.  The New Jersey Plan also called for several presidents" (W. Cleon Skousen in The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 510).

                    "The Executive Vesting Clause (or "Vesting Clause") grants the President those authorities that were traditionally wielded by executives.  Accordingly, the President may control federal law execution by directing and removing executive officers.  The clause also accords the President those foreign-affairs authorities not otherwise granted to Congress or shared with the Senate.  Thus, the President can control the formation and communication of foreign policy and direct America's diplomatic corps.  Because the Constitution nowhere assigns or shares these foreign-affairs powers, they remain part of the executive power granted to the President by the Executive Vesting Clause….

                    "The Executive Vesting Clause's general rule that the President enjoys those powers traditionally vested with executives (i.e., the executive power) is subject to two important limitations.  First, the President lacks executive authority explicitly granted to Congress.  Hence the President cannot declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, or regulate commerce, even though executives had often wielded such authority in the past.  In these instances, Congress retained portions of the executive power that the Continental Congress had wielded under the Articles.  Second, specific constitutional provisions may check customary executive authority.  Notwithstanding his executive power, the President cannot make treaties or appointments without the advice and consent of the Senate.  Likewise, the President's pardon power is limited to offenses against the United States and does not extend to impeachments or violations of state law" (Sai Prakash in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, pp. 179-180).

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