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may be required, without essentially detracting from his efficiency. The term of four years for the duration of the president in office, was adopted as sufficient on the one hand, to give him the requisite degree of independence, and on the other to make him sensible of his de. pendence, and to secure the executive powers from abuse. Besides, more frequent elections would keep the people in a constant state of political agitation, and render the government unstable.
For how long a term is the vice-president chosen?
In what manner' are the president and vice-president chosen ? Why was the elec. tion of these officers not referred, immediately to the people ? Ans. The election of officers so important, was supposed to require greater independence, stability, wisdom and information, than could be expected to reside in the people at large. What was the reason of the rule which requires the number of electors in each state, to be equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in congress ? Ans. It was to give each state a voice in the elections, somewhat proportioned to its importance; and
at the same time to recognize the existence of the state sovereignties. What is the whole number of electors of president according to the present rule of apportionment? Ans. 288. What persons, is it declared, shall not be appointed electors ? What was the reason of this rule ? Ans. It is to prevent the existing president from exerting an improper in. fluence with a view to gain a re-election, This he might do from his means of intercourse and influence with such officers, were it not for this prohibition.
Who are authorized to determine the time of choosing the electors ? What is the time which congress have determined ? Ans. It must be within thirty-four days of the day of election. Who are authorized to determine the day on which they shall give their votes ? What is the day as determined by congress? Ans. The first Wednesday in December, in every fourth year succeeding the last election. Why is it required that the day of voting shall be the same throughout the United States ? Ans. By making the day of election the same in every state, the result in no one state can be made use of to influence the election in another. By a knowledge of the result in one
state or more, the minds of tho electors in others might be biased.
Remark. It is said in the second paragraph section 1, article II., “ Each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors,” &c. The purport of this language seems to be that the people of each state shall appoint the electors; but in New York and some other states, they have always been appointed by the legislatures themselves. The giving the state legislatures power to prescribe the mode of appointment is another instance of the recognition of the state sovereignties, as having a concern in the general government. [For further explanations on the subject of the election of president and vice-president, see the questions and explanations on the 12th amendment to the constitution.]
What qualifications for president are requir. ed by the constitution ?
Remark. The high and important duties of the president are the reasons for requiring such qualifications. They are of the same nature as the qualifications required for senators and representatives, the reasons of which were ex.
plained in detail, but higher in degree since the office is more important.
In case of the removal of the president from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge his duties, on whom do they devolve ? If the like circumstances also happen in regard to the vice-president, how are the daties of president to be discharged ?
What rule in the constitution in regard to the compensation of the president? Why is it not permitted to increase or diminish the salary of the president during the period for which he shall have been elected ? - Ans. It was to render him in this respect independent of the legislature. Says Chancellor Kent in speaking of this rule,“ a control over a man's living is a control over his actions.” Why is the president not permitted to receive any other emolument during the period of his office, from the United States, or either of them? Ans. To prevent any undue influence om being exerted upon him.
What is the substance of the oath which the president is required to take before entering upon the duties of his office? Who are to determine in disputed cases, what is the constitution? Ans. It is provided in section 2, of
article III., that “the judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under this constitution.”
Sec. 2 & 3. What are the duties of the president as enumerated in these sections ? Why was the command of the army and navy and of the militia of the several states when called into the service of the union, given to the president? Ans.
It being his duty to execute the law, it follows as a matter of course, that the means of executing it should be placed at his disposal. Whence is the necessity of a power to grant reprieves and pardons ? Ans. It results from the im. perfection necessarily incident to the adminis. tration of law. It may happen that after sen. tence has been pronounced upon the accused, new proof may be obtained establishing his innocence. There may also be very peculiar circumstances in some cases, requiring either the suspension or the removal of the punishment. Such cases since the law cannot make exceptions, are very properly referred to a power to which application can at any moment be made, and which is always in action. . Why is the president prohibited from granting par. dons in cases of impeachment ? Ans. To