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April 21, 1830.]
Power of removal by the President.
authorized to fill it: the consentofthe Senate was not by the cord of conviction to which he had alluded; and he chose law required. Yet it had been the practice of Mr. Madi- to use it here before he committed it to that prison house son and Mr. Monroe to make the nomination to the Senate, whence he found it so very difficult to extract the secret and the present Executive had followed the example. The matters of this light-shunning administration. And, for act creating the office says nothing of the term for which the the special edification of the majority, he informed them, officer should hold the office, nor of its tenure in any way. that, on the 17th instant, he had received another record What, then, is the tenure of any office by law created, in of conviction, and of a deeper dye; for which he had been the absence of any particular provision, es to time, or the waiting some time, and was now ready for another execumanner in which its duties are to be discharged? Is it an tive session, when it suited their convenience. The Sena. office for good behavior, or for life? If for good beha- tor from Illinois has asked, who is to judge of the cause of vior, is this and all other petty officers to be impeached removal but the President? The former proceedings of and tried before this high tribunal? Mr. K. said he un- the Senate might answer that question. Is the President, derstood the Senator from Missouri as admitting that the [Mr. B. asked] irresponsible in the exercise of this power? Executive had the power to remove, but then this power You say he is responsible to the people. Can the people was to be exercised only upon sufficient cause; and pray, come here in mass and inquire the causes of the exertion [said Mr. K.) who is to be the judge of this cause? The of such powers? If not, their representatives have a Executive alone, or the Executive and Senate united right to ask for them; and especially the Senate, to The President is bound to see the laws faithfully executed; which matters of this nature are confided, in our repreand this duty he cannot perform without a control over his sentative form of government. The practical result of the agents. He is responsible for the execution of the high Senators's doctrine established a despotism in the Presitrust reposed in him by the constitution, and in this re- dent. Every body knows the people cannot come here, in sponsibility, so far as the execution of laws is concern- mass, to examine these matters. The majority say we ed, the Senate does not participate. Suppose, then, the shall not do it for them. Then, it follows, it must go unPresident should think fit to employ in the public service done, and the President is, practically, unexaminable; and no man who was a public delinquent, a defaulter, for ex- the fate of our public men depends on the arbitrary will ample, of many years standing, and the Senate should sup- of a single man! They live or die by his breath! All our pose this no objection, this power of removal cannot be offices are but bribes and weapons in his hands; and if exercised at all, because the removing power vested in the that be not despotism, and we a nation of slaves, he did President and Senate is neutralized by this division of opin- not know the definition of such things. The truth is, (Mr. ion, and in the mean time, the execution of the laws is ren- B. said) the administration had gone to such a length, that dered injurious in its operation, on account of continued there was no way of saving their reputation with the peodelinquencies. The President may be called to an account ple, but by screening them from the light of inquiry and for an abuse of his executive authority. How should we, truth. The Senator from Illinois had read an old commisthe Senators of this republican confederation, appear, sion from Mr. Jefferson, stating the office to be held at when sitting as his judges, if his plea of justification was the pleasure of the President. Did that alter the relative filed that the Senate would not consent to the removal of powers of President and Senate? Did that change the the very officer whose mal-conduct had brought upon him form of our Government? The form of the commission the impeachment? Sir, an Executive officer whose tenure was probably drawn up by some attorney, clerk, or noof office is not fixed by law, must, of necessity, hold his tary. Could they repeal our constitution and laws, and commission at the pleasure of the Executive, otherwise the make our President a four years' despot, contrary to the Executive is an irresponsible agent of the Government. avowed intention of the framers of our Government? He The practice of every President showed that such bad hard answered that argument, if argument it were, on the been their opinion. The practice with regard to the very 17th of March. When a citizen buys public land, and office in question fully exemplified the correctness of this pays for it, he is lord of the little domain, by the law of puropinion. (Here Mr. K. read the commission first issued chase. But if a form of patent should be adopted, saying by Mr. Madison, followed by another from Mr. Monroe, he held the land at the will of the President, would not both in terms declaring that the appointee held his com- that will be subject to the law, or have we a President mission at the pleasure of the President of the United above law? He put it as a grave law question, to the best States for the time being.) Mr. K. said it had been his in- lawyer in the majority, whether the form of the commistention to discuss the questions of the President's power sion, or of the patent, in such cases, did, or did not, "nul. of removal, on some fit occasion, at large; but he would lify" the pre-existing, legal, or constitutional rights of the not trespass upon time allotted for an important discussion, citizen? Did it, or did it not, "nullify" the relative powers by consuming more of the time of the Senate at present. of the President and Senate, and change our republican
Mr. BARTON said, he desired only to reply to a few form of Government into an unexaminable and irresponsiprominent remarks of the Senator from Illinois. He inti- ble tyranny, for four years, at the pleasure of our Presimates that Mr. Hunt may be a defaulter. Is not that a dent? Truly, that would be placing a veto on the constigooi reason for inquiry instead of concealment? Is a citi- tution itself! Mr. B. said, he had observed that Mr. Jef. zen to be stabbed in the dark by insinuations, and denied ferson's mantle was very anxiously sought by this adminis. the benefit of the open light? Let us know what the cause tration, since the late determination to abandon every reis, and if it be a reasonable one, I will even say no more publican principle; even the right of inquiry: The proabout the removal, although I cannot vote for the person phet Elijah, it would be remembered, had also shed his contemplated to take charge of the old land titles and re. mantle upon Elisha, amid the smoke and savory fumes cords in Missouri. Mr. Hunt had an old navy account with of a meat offering, made of the oxen of the latier. He the Government, many years ago; but asserts his integrity presumed a public dinner, and set toasts, would have quite and fairness in that matter, and challenges investigation as good an effect in controverting all sorts of party denoand light. That account, if it be hinted at, was under- minations into republicans of the modern type; and if a stood by the former administration that appointed him, I voracious appetite for office were any test, the combination presume. Let us have the causes, be they good or bad. was composed of genuine republicans; but he entered his The Senator from Illinois declined saying any thing about solemn protest against the doctrines of the majority, with the character or qualifications of the proposed successor; regard to the removing power. The President's cabinet, as, he says, the nomination is pending. 'Mr. B. said, he for whose acts he is responsible, ought to be freely chohad not gone behind the Executive veil to get the facts he sen by him; but the officers of the public were ours; they had stated. On the 19th instant, he had received the re. have legal rights, for the benefit of the public, and to be
Power of removal by the President.
[APRIL 21, 1830.
protected by the Senate and the laws. He protested so happening, not one single instance has occurred in against this latter class of the public officers being render- which the Senate, as a body, has asserted the right to ask ed servile instruments in the hands of the Executive, de- the cause of removal, or to exercise an appellate or reri pendent for official existence on the smile of his favor, or sory power over the President's decision. The attempt, in liable to official death at liis capricious nod.
1814, to ask the cause of the removal of Gideon Granger Mr. BIBB said, questions have been started, at this day, from the ofiice of Postmaster General, was rejected by the touching the
power of the President to remove executive Senate. Thus the Executive and Legislative departofficers, and the power of the Senate to demand and judgements have construed the constitution. the cause of removal. In organizing the Executive de In the case of Marbury 18. Madison, (February, 1863,) partments at the first session of the Congress under the the Supreme Court of the United States cxpress their new constitution, the powers of the President necessarily opinion, that the nomination, appointment, and commiscame under consideration. The decision of both Houses ap- sion, are three distinct operations. “Ist. The nominapears in the act for establishing the Department of Foreign tion. This is the sole act of the President, and is conAffairs, approved by President Washington, on the 27th pletely voluntary. , 21. The appointment. This is also of July, 1789. (Vol. 2 Bioren's Laws United States, p. 6.] the act of the President, and is also a voluntary act, though By that act
, a principal oflicer, denominated the Secretary it can only be performed by and with the advice and confor the Department of Foreign Affairs, was authorized. sent of the Senate. 31. The commission. He was to conduct the business in such manner as the " Where an officer is removable at the will of the ExPresident of the United States shall, from time to time, ecutive, the circumstance which completes his appointorder or instruct.” This principal officer was authorized ment is of no concern, because the act is at any time revoto appoint an inferior officer, called the chief clerk, “who, cable. By the constitution of the United States, the Prewhenever the said principal officer shall be removed from sident is invested with certain political powers, in the exoffice by the President of the United States, or in any other ercise of which lic is to use his own discretion, and is accase of vacancy, shall, during suclı vacancy, have the charge countable only to his country in his political character, and custody of all records, books, and papers, appertain- and to his own conscience. To aid him in the perforining to the said department.” This department, by the act ance of these duties, he is authorized to appoint certain of September 15, 1789, was denominated the “ Depart. oflicers, who act by his authority, and in conformity with ment of State," and the principal officer called the “Se his orders. In such cases, their acts are lis acts; and cretary of State.” The Department of War and Naval whatever opinion may be entertained of the manner in Affairs was established by the act, approved August, which executive discretion may be used, still there exists, 1789, with a principal officer and a chief clerk, with a like and can exist, no power to control that discretion. The provision for the case of removal of the principal officer subjects are political
. by the President, or other case of vacancy, as in the De “The power of nominating to the Senate, and the pow. partment of Foreign Affairs. In the act to establish the er of appointing the person nominated, are political powTreasury Department, approved September, 1789, the ers, to be exercised by the President according to his own like provision is made for a principal officer and chief discretion. When he has made an appointment, he has clerk, and for the case of removal of the principal ofhcer exercised his whole power, and his discretion has been by the President of the United States, or other case of va- completely applied to the case. If, by law, the officer ba cancy, as in the other acts alluded to. In these three acts removable at the will of the President, then a new ap. the power of the President to remove the principal offi- pointment may be immediately made, and the rights of cer is conceded, as of constitutional right, not conferred the officer are terminated.” by law.
To those who contend for the supremacy of that Court [Mr. B. then read a long list of removals, by Presidents in settling all questions arising under the constitution, this Washington, Adams, and Jefferson.]
case of Marbury vs. Madison, ought to be conclusive. But Gen. Washington, from May, 1792, to January, 1797, as I am one of those who deny that the Legislative and removed many officers whom he had appointed, and ap- Executive departments, with the concurrence of the Supointed others in place of those removed, as appears by preme Court, can change the constitution, I will examine the nominations and confirmations on the Executive Jour these questions upon the principles of the constitution. nal. Among these are collectors, inspectors, officers of When the Government is so organized as to secure, by the army, a vice consul at Paris, in place of one recalled, reasonable precautions, the enacting of good laws, it is of William Short, minister resident in Spain, in place of one the highest importance that they be faithfully executed. recalled, and C. C. Pinckney, minister plenipotentiary, in Good men are interested in the faithful execution, beplace of James Monroe. President Adams removed col-cause their conduct is, in the general, in conformity with lectors, supervisors, inspectors,officers of the army, and, the laws. Bad men are interested against the faithful exfinally, the Secretary of State, Mr. Pickering, was remov- ccution, because their conduct is, in the general, in violaed, and Mr. Marshall was appointed in his place Presi- tion of the laws. A feeble Executive produces a feeble dent Jefferson exercised this power of removal; so did execution of the laws; it is, in effect, a bad execution of President Madison, and the succeeding Presidents. In the laws. A government ill executed degenerates into a February, 1814, President Madison nominated Return J. bad government in fact, howsoever good it may be in theoMeigs, as Postmaster General. A resolution was offered ry. Energy in the Executive is essential to a good go. in the Senate to ask the President if this office was vacant, vernment.
What does it avail, to have a good govern. " and, if vacant, in what manner it became vacant." This ment in theory, but a bacl government in practice? good resolution was rejected.
laws upon the statute book; but those laws ill executed From the commencement of this Government to this and evaded? In a government looking to our intercourse time, the power of removal has beeri conceded, first, by with foreign nations to preserve peace; direct the enerboth branches of the Legislature, in organizing the De-gies of the nation in war; spreading over such an extent partments; 2d, by the uninterrupted exercise of that pow. of territory, an energetic Executive is more necessary er by all the Presidents.
than in one of the confederated States. From May, 1792, when President Washington made In the Federal Government, the Executive should be inhis first message, nominating Mr. Wrigglesworth, as the vigorated as far as consists with the safety of the republic Collector of Newburyport, in place of Cross, superseded, can principles upon which it is founded. If sufficiently down to this time, notwithstanding the various removals guarded to prevent usurpation, a vigorous Executive is made known to the Senate, by nominations to fill vacancies appropriate to the faithful execution of the great powers
April 21, 1830.]
Power of reinoval by the President.
of war, peace, treaties, and commerce. The Federal Go. he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extravernment is doubly watched; first, by the ordinary safe- ordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or cither of guards of a simple republic; secondly, by the federative them."" "He shall have power, by and with the advice rights and reserved powers of the State Governments. and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided twoThe principle ingredients which constitute energy in the thirds of the Senators present concur. “He shall take Esecutive, are unity of action, competent powers, ade- care that the laws be faithfully executed.". To perform quate provision to maintain itself against the eneroach-cfficiently these important duties devolved upon him by inents of the other departments, and against anarchy. A the constitution, means are necessary. Therefore it is, numerous Legislature and a single Executive, seem best cal." he shall be Commander-in-chief of the army and navy culated to unite the two great ingredients of a good govern- of the United States." “He shall nominate, and by and ment, salutary laws, and a faithful execution of them. De- with the advice :und consent of the Senate, shall appoint cision, activity, and despatch, will generally flow from the ambassadors, and other public ministers and consuls, judproceedings of a single Executive, in a more cmirent de ses of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the gree, than from two or more. As the number is increas- United Staies, whose appointments are not herein othered, these qualities of decision, activity, and despatch, will wise provided for, and which shall be established by law; be sliminished; and it matters not whether the power be but the Congress may by law rest the appointment of such vested in two or more of equal authority, or in one, sub. inferior officers as they think proper, in the President jected to the control and co-operation of others, as coun-alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departsellors to him.
He shall have power “to fill up all vacancies Whenever two or more are invested with a public office that may lappen in the recess of the Senate, by granting and trust, with equal dignity and authority, there is dan- commissions which shall expire at the end of their next ger of ditrerence of opinion, personal emulation, and ani- session.” “He shall take care that the laws be faithfully mos ty. Whenever these dissensions arise in the Execu- executed, and shall commission all the officers of the Unittive department, they weaken the executive arın, distracted States.” In interpreting the constitution, we ought to the plans and operations, split the community into factions. (view it as one entire work. All the members should have They counteract the most necessary ingredients in an Ex- such order, strength, and proportion, as to be homogeneecutive--vigor and despatch.
Alland singular the parts should cohere and fit, the The history of Rome, in her best days, furnishes in-one with the other, so as to answer to the design and end, stances of dissensions between the Consuls, and also be and make one uniform, fair proportioned, natural whole. tween the military tribunes who were substituted at times This rule of examination is founded in common sense, to the Consuls.
and is applicable to all the works of genius and of art. To guard against more frequent dissensions, prudence in this rule, artists, writers, critics, jurists, the sages of suggested to the Consuls the policy of dividing the admin the State, and the fathers of the church, all concur. The istration between them by lot, assigning to one the go-constitution provides that the President shall commission vernment of the city and the suburbs; to the other, üc all officers of the United States. What is the tenure of command in the distant provinces; but frequently in ex-office which he shall grant in the commissions? When tremities, recourse was had toa dictator.
the tenure of office to be expressed in the commissions is In legislation, differences of opinion, and the jarrings (iecided, then the power of the President to remove this of parties, promote, in the general, deliberation and cir- or that officer, or his want of power to remove, is detercuinspection, and check escesses in the majority, although mined by an inspection of the respective commissions. they may sometimes obstruct salutary measures. But the The constitution declares that the judges, both of the Suevils of dissension in the Executive, department are un preme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during mixed with any advantages. These dissensions weaken, good beliavior. This is the tenure of office to be exembarrass, and perplex the execution, of any plan from pressed in their commissions. Taking this declaration of the first to the last. In our foreign relations, in all the tenure in favor of the judges, in connexion with the duties devolved on the President, by the constitution, re- power to nominate, appoint, and commission all officers, lative to war and peace, treaties and commerce, at home and the consequence seems to follow clearly, that none but and abroad, where unity, decision, activity, and expec. the judges are to be coinnissioned during good behavior. tion are so necessary, we would have every disadvantage Afirmative words here are, in their effect, negative of to apprehend from a plurality in the Executive. Besides other kindred subjects than those affirmed. Expressio the tardiness and inefficiency which would be thereby pro- unius est reclusio clierius. The expression of one tenure duced, responsibility to censure and to punishment would in favor of the judges is the exclusion of the like tenure be lessenec, if not destroyed. In a plurality of Executive as to all other officers. When the constitution was framed, heads, amidst mutual accusations, it is difficult to deter- the States had exploded the notions that public offices mine on whom the blame of pernicious measures ought to were private property, and had established the principle fall
, anel more dificult to fix the punishment according to that public oflices are public trusts, instituted for the pub. the degree of culpability of each. The executive power lic benefit, and to be held either during, good behavior is more easily confined when it is one-multiplication in and the continuance of the offices, or during pleasure, as the Executive is more dangerous than friendly to liberty. the one or the other tenure should be, according to the One tyrant is more tolerable and more easily brought to character of the respective offices, most consistent with conviction and punishment than twenty-seven. The influ- the beneficial management of the public affairs. The dus ence and credit of many individuals united in the execu- ration of the ofhces is one thing; the tenure by which the tire power and responsibility, are more dangerous to li- officer holds his commission is another. The office may berty than either of them singly.
be created expressiy for a limited and defined portion of By the constitution, the powers of this Government are time, or otherwise, the office continuing, yet the commisdistributed into three departments; the Legislative, the Ex-sion may be directed by the constitution or laws to be ecutive, and the Judicial. The President of the United issued for a limited time. In cither case, however, the States is the head and fountain of the Executive depart- tenure by which the cfficer holds that commission may be
But his powers are not solely executive. He has during good behavior, within the extent of the commisa qualified negative upon the proceedings of the legisla- sion, or only during pleasure. There were, then, at the tive department. Moreover, “ne shall, from time to time, making of the constitution of the United States, but two give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, tenures, or manners of holding the commissions issued for and recommend to their consideration such measures as|public offices-during good behavior, or during pleasure.
Power of remoral by the President.
[April 21, 1830.
When, therefore, the constitution declared that the Pre If a painter should join together a human head, a horse's sident should nominate, appoint, and commission all ofli- neck, members collected here and there from the feathcers, and that he should commission the judges during cred tribes, and ending with the tail of a fish, would not good behavior, it followed clearly that he should com- the spectacle be ridiculous? The framers of the Federal mission no other officers during good behavior; but that constitution never drew such an unnatural, deformed pic. all officers, other than the judges, should be commission- ture for the Executive department. The Congress and ed to hold during the pleasure of the President. the States would have turned, in disgust and loathing,
This interpretation is enforced by other considerations. from such a hideous deformity. Let us pursue the conThe President is elected for four years only. If the offi- sequences of an executive corps, appointed during good cers, other than the judges, were commissioned during behavior, and not removable by the Pre-dent. Woukl good behavior, and not during pleasure, then the Execu- it not be passingły strange, and strikingly out of order, to tive department would not be duly ordered and propor- see one President discarded by the people for disapprotioned in its parts; the different members would not be bation of the course of his acíministration, another electsuited to the head; the head, the body, and the feet, would ed to change the course of measures, and yet that the not be homogeneous; they would not be adapted to the President elect be surrounded by cabinet ministers, opedesign. A President elected for four years, as the head rating through inferior officers, whose views of policy and fountain of the Executive department, with all the were hostile to his, and accordant with those of his preexecutive officers under him, appointed and commissioned decessor? A President elected to bring about a spirit of during good behavior, not removable by him, but hold- economy, and healthful action in the body politic, yet ing for life, would be inconsistent with the plan, and with with leads of departments fastened on him, whose views the duties and responsibilities imposed upon the Presi- of policy are at war with economy, allowing the most exdent. The term of four years is sufficient for unfolding travagant constructive claims on the treasury, operating the measures of a President, and his course of adminis. upon the tbeory that a national debt is a national li dessing, tering the affairs of the Government, to bring them dis- and endeavoring to consolidate all the reserved powers of tinctly to the view of the people for their approbation or the States into the powers of the Federal Governmen: disapprobation. If disapproved, a change is intended by That the President'elect should be without the power to the constitution, through the medium of election. If the discard heads of departments in whom he had no confiPresident is changed with a view to a change in the course dence, and unable to effect a change in the inferior exeof measures, then, if all executive officers hold at the cutive officers, would make him the meagre emblem of will of the President, he has the means of changing the an Executive; a skeleton stripped of his integuments; a executive officers throughout, so far as may be necessary something but little better than a puppet, moved by the to effect and ensure the change proposed in the course of undersprings and wires of ministers and officers holding administration. All executive officers wculd be subordi- for life, and destitute of all sense of dependence on the nate to the President. Dependent on his will for the President or the people. What reasonable responsibihty tenure of office, all would be controlled by his plans and could he fixed on the President for mal-administration, views of administration, and held in obedience and activi. either as to the preservation of peace, or effecting a faty, by his power of removal. The President would then vorable commercial intercourse with foreign nations, or have the competent means to cause the laws to be faith in the execution of the laws, if he had no power to refully executed, and to effect his plans and measures of ad- call ministers and remove officers, and substitute them ministration. The Executive would be well ordered and by others more suitable to the occasion, and adapted to adapted to its end and design--harmonious in its members the exigency? Suppose a revenue oficer, for instance, a from the head to the foot. The responsibility imposed collector at the port of New York, who collects near a upon him to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, million of dollars per month, should be suspected of infiis then reasonable. But if all the executive officers were delity, would it not be highly injurious to suffer h'm to appointed during good behavior, removable only by im- remain in office until he had consummated his fraud? unpeachment, trial, and conviction, then the head of the til he could be removed by impeachment? or until the Executive department would be elected every four years, President could lay hold of some overt act to present 10 but all the other officers would be established for life, in the Senate to move them to advise and consent to his redependent of the President; not controlled by the will, moval? Suppose a collector, or other receiver of public plans, and views of the President; not held in subordina- moneys, in actual default in accounting and paying to the tion by their immediate dependence on him for
the tenure treasury; must the defaulting officer be suffered to con of office; but held in activity and the course of duty only tinue his peculations until he can be impeached, or until by that distant prospect of impeachment. The vacancies the Senate can be convened to advise and consent to his happening by death and resignation would be annually so removal? Such a construction of the executive powers few as to leave the spirit of the executive corps perpetu- of the President would render them wholly inadequate al and unalterable by the Presidential election. We to a faithful execution of the laws. It would make the should then have an Executive department, with a Presi- injunction upon bim, “ to take care that the laws are dent elected every four years, but the whole executive faithfully executed,” an idle mockery. To impose a duty corps established for life, permanent in its spirit, and in- and deny the means to execute it, can impose no respondependent of the President and the people. 'A President sibility for non-performance. The power of nominating, for four years, but heads of departments for life, ministers and appointing, and commissioning all executive officers, for life, consuls for life, custom house officers, collectors, during pleasure, and consequently of removing them at inspectors, marshals, attorneys, receivers of public mo- pleasure, is a political power vested in the President, for neys, registers, postmasters, officers of the army and navy, wise and salutary 'purposes, not only to guard existing &c. &c. &c. all, all for life! In a Government instituted laws against evasions, to protect the revenue against diexpressly for conducting the great affairs of war, peace, and lapidations, and to enforce a faithful execution of the treaties, levying money, and regulating commerce; such a laws generally; but also to assure due weight and influsystem of a President for four years, but all other executive ence to the executive recommendations of measures officers for life, would have been a political monster. which he shall deem necessary and expedient to be adopt. « Humano capiti cervice in pictor equinam
ed by the Congress. “ Jungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas
The President is required hy the constitution, “from “ Undique collatis menubris, ut turpitur atrum " Desinit in piscem
time to time, to give to the Congress information of the “ Spectatum admissi risum tenratis amici!''
state of the Union, and recommend to them such mea
APRIL 21, 1830.)
Power of removal by the President.
sures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." It must and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, be evident that the President, from the nature of his of- shall appoint.” “He shall nominate, and he shall appoint, fice, and from the facilities afforded him, as being the and he shall commission, all officers.” The nomination head of the Executive department, of commanding every and appointment are each the acts of the President. The information which can be afforded by the heads of the de. Senate may refuse their advice and consent, when an unpartments, and through them from all the other execu- worthy and unfit person is put in nomination; but they can tive officers, and of obtaining through them information neither nominate nor appoint the person removed from from other sources, can have a more distinct and com- office. The removal from office is the sole act of the Presimanding view of the state of the Union and of the mea. dent. It is his political power. It results from the constitusures which may be necessary and expedient, than the tion; from the tenure of office established by the constituseveral members of the Legislative departments. The tion. The executive officers hold at the pleasure of the Preduties, therefore, devolved on the President to give in-sident. The determination of his will, the removal, is the formation of the state of the Union, and to recommend previous act; the nomination to fill the vacancy happening measures which he shall judge necessary and proper, as by that removal is the subsequent and consequent act. The well as his qualified veto upon the acts of the Congress, Senate cannot touch the removal. That is not submitted for are wise and salutary, deduced from his superior means their advice and consent. It is the person nominated who of information. His veto is calculated to prevent impo- is submitted for their advice and consent. The rejection of litic legislation. But the veto is but conditional, not ab- the person nominated to fill the vacancy happening by resolute. How far his veto may influence the Congress in moval, cannot restore to office the person removed. The their deliberations upon it, depends upon the weight and removal is a fact done. The rejection of the consequent influence of the executive power as a whole, and then nomination to fill the vacancy cannot undo the fact of the upon the power of the President to prevent the momen- removal--it cannot fill the vacancy. tum of the whole from being split and divided into parts If the Senate should invest themselves with the power pulling into opposite directions. The same considerations of demanding and judging the causes of removals, then will apply to the weight and influence which the recom- this would be an appellate power in the Senate, exercismendation of the President will have in forwarding the ed over the acts of the President in removing; not a counadoption of measures by hiin communicated to Congress sel and advice upon the person nominated. The power as necessary and expedient. For what purpose is he re- to demand the cause of removal goes behind the nominaquired to recommend measures to the Congress, if his re- tion, and acts not upon the question submitted by the procommendations are to have no weight, no influence? And posed appointment. It leaves the question submitted by what weight or influence can they have, if the heads of the constitution and the nomination of the President-the departments, and all the other executive officers, who fitness or unfitness of the person nominated--and wanders ought to be aiding in giving them life and activity, may be into the causes and motives of the presidential will and opposing and counteracting the recommendations of the pleasure, exercised in removing the former incumbent. President. If all the executive officers were to hold it is an inquisition over the motives of the President. It their offices for life, independent of the will of the Presi- changes the tenure of office. The President would no dent, then he would have no means of enforcing an unity longer be the head and soul of the Executive department, of action in aid of his recommendations. A President but the Senate would be placed above him, to revise and surrounded by a corps of executive officers, not holding control his political decisions. The unity, activity, and at lais will and pleasure, but independent of him, and for despatch, of the Executive department would be delife, or during good behavior, would have but little influ-stroyed, by having forty-nine heads instead of one. Men ence at any time. The executive corps, in opposition to often oppose a thing merely because they have had no the President, could stifle the measures recommended by agency in planning it, or because it has been done by him. The members quarreling with the heaul would be those whom they dislike. To make the Senate a council a disordered, feverish, disturbed action of the body poli- whose concurrence is necessary to the operations of the
Confusion and anarchy are the necessary conse- ostensible Executive, would be intolerable in a Governquences.
ment like this, intended to manage our relations of war If the executive officers were to be commissioned for and peace, and treaties; and the powers of levying money life, then the President would be disarmed of the neces- and regulating commerce. “ An artful cabal in that counsary and competent means to protect the Executive de- cil would be able to distract and to enervate the whole partment against the encroachments of the co-ordinate system of administration. If no such cabal existed, the departments. Mr. Madison, in the forty-eighth and forty- mere liversity of views, opinions, and feelings, would ninth letters of Publius, has illustrated, by reason and by alone be sufficient to tincture the exercise of executiva historical facts, the insufficiency of mere paper barriers, authority with a spirit of babitual feebleness and delay." to confine the several departments of powers, Legislative, Over and above the inadequacy of the executive means Executive, and Judicial, from passing the limits assigned; to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, in case that it is necessary to furnish auxiliaries, other than defini- the Senate should invest itself with the power to demand tions on paper, to prevent one of the departments from and judge the causes of removal, another weighty objecencroaching upon the chartered authorities of the others; tion would arise. The legislative duties of the Senate, that “the Legislative department is every where extend connected with this appellate power over the causes for ing the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into removal, would require the perpetual session of the Senits impetuous vortex.” And if I might be permitted ate; and the system, if not impracticable, would be at war without offence, which certainly I do not intend, to re- with the theory of the constitution. The House of Remark upon the claim set up in this Senate, for its partici- presentatives are to impeach, and the Senate to try impation in judging and supervising the Executive in his peachments. But by this extraordinary course of demand. removals from office, after such long and settled practice ing and judging the causes for removal, the Senate would to the contrary, I would cite this, in addition to those re- prejudge the cases of officers supposed to have offended. ferred to by Mr. Madison, as another example of the acti- if the cause of removal was demanded, then the existence vity of the Legislative department to enlarge the sphere or non-existence of the cause must be tried. If the reof its powers, and draw within its vortex the powers pro-moval is advised, the conduct of the officer is condemned; perly belonging the Executive department.
if the removal of the officer is negatived, then the conThe power of nomination belongs to the President-duct of the officer is approved. The Senate will then be the power of appointment is his. “He shall nominate, converted into a secret inquisition into the conduct of of