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of independence of the other two branches, else he would not remain a check upon them. So long as the President is in office — and he may be removed only by impeachment — he may not be arrested. But as soon as he is out of office he
be punished for any crime committed by him while in office. The courts can neither restrain him nor compel him to perform any act. When Aaron Burr was being tried for treason Chief Justice Marshall issued a subpoena requiring President Jefferson to produce a certain paper relating to Burr's acts. Jefferson refused to obey. He reasoned that the duties of a President could not be performed if he could be compelled to obey court writs.
II. THE VICE-PRESIDENT 71. The Vice-President is elected by the same electors and in the same manner as the President, except that when no Vice-Presidential candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes the Vice-President is chosen by the Senate from the two candidates receiving the highest number of electoral votes.
The qualifications for the Vice-President are the same as for the President. His salary is $12,000 and his only duty, unless he succeeds to the presidency, is to preside over the Senate. As he is not a member of the Senate, does not appoint committees, and has no vote except in case of a tie, he has little influence. A candidate for the Vice-Presidency. is seldom nominated because of his fitness to become President, but to help carry a doubtful State, to appease a defeated faction in the national nominating convention, or to replenish the party treasury.
III. THE CABINET 72. In order that the President may have assistants in executing the laws Congress has authorized him to appoint ten chiefs. Washington was authorized to appoint only three : a Secretary of State, a Secretary of the Treasury, and a Secretary of War. As governmental duties increased, however, the work of administration was further divided and new secretaries were added. There are now ten chief assistants.
i The statutes creating these offices provide for the assent of the Senate, but in practice the Senate never interferes with the President's choice.
OFFICE CREATED IN
NAME OF OFFICE
1789 1789 1789 1789 1794 1798 1849 1889 1903 1913
These ten secretaries are appointed by the President for indefinite terms, and as he alone is responsible for the official action of any secretary he may dismiss him at any time. A new President always selects some new Cabinet officers, and a President of a different party from his predecessor selects an entirely new Cabinet. The Cabinet meets twice a week, or as often as the President desires, in the executive offices, which adjoin the White House. The meetings are secret and only the weightier matters are discussed, as the President meets the chiefs of each executive department alone to discuss the less important affairs.
There is no provision for the Cabinet either in the Constitution or in the Statutes of Congress. The Constitution says, “The President may require the opinion in writing of the principal officers in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices." (Art. II, Sec. 2.) At first Washington requested written opinions, but by his second term he held secret meetings, which were called “cabinet meetings.”
1 The Attorney-General was also considered a member of Washington's Cabinet, but he was not the head of a department until 1870, when the Department of Justice was created.
It is the President's privilege to invite persons other than departmental heads to attend the cabinet meetings, but he does not do so; and he is not compelled to take the advice of the Cabinet contrary to his own judgment. This is illustrated by an incident told of President Lincoln. He brought before his Cabinet a proposition which he favored, but every member of
PRESIDENT HARDING AND HIS CABINET. his cabinet voted against it. He announced the vote, “Seven nays, one aye; the ayes have it."
OUTLINE FOR REVIEW
The Executive Department I. PRESIDENT. (A) Qualifications: (1) Natural born citizen of the
United States. (2) Thirty-five years of age. (3) Fourteen years a resident of
the United States.
(B) Elected :
(1) By Electoral College, or
(1) Filled by Vice-President, or
law of Presidential succession. (F) Salary:
$75,000 plus travelling ex
penses, house rent, etc. (G) Powers and Duties: (1) Executes the laws of the nation.
(2) Appoints ministers, consuls,
judges, postmasters, and
other officers. (3) May remove officers and fill
vacancies. (4) Receives foreign ministers. (5) May make treaties with consent
of two thirds of Senate. (6) Commander-in-Chief of the
army and navy. (7) Delivers a message to Congress
each December and at other
times. (8) May call special session of Con
gress or of either House. (9) Signs or vetoes bills passed by
Congress. (10) May grant reprieves and par
dons. (H) Removal :
(1) May be impeached by major
ity of House. (2) May be tried and convicted by
two thirds of Senate. II. VICE-PRESIDENT. (A) Qualifications:
The same as required for the
President. (B) Elected:
(1) By the Electoral College, or
(2) By the Senate, (C) Term:
(D) Vacancy :
Not filled until next presiden
tial election. (E) Salary:
$12,000. (F) Duty:
Presides over Senate and votes
only in case of tie. Becomes President if President dies or
is in any way disqualified. III. TEN CABINET MEMBERS (non-official). (A) Qualifications:
None prescribed. (B) Appointed :
By President. (C) Term:
Indefinite. (D) Salary:
$12,000. (E) Duty:
To advise President and admin
ister their respective departments according to the will of the President.
DOUGHERTY, J. HAMPTON. The Electoral System of the United
States. 1906. CORWIN, EDWIN S. The President's Control of Foreign Relations.
1917. HASKIN, F. J. The American Government. 1912. HILL, John PHILIP. The Federal Executive. 1916. LEARNED, HENRY BARRETT. The President's Cabinet. 1912. MORAN, T. F. American Presidents. 1917. REINSCH, Paul S. Readings on American Federal Government.
1909. STANWOOD, EDWARD. A History of the Presidency from 1788 to
1897. 1898. Also 1916 edition. TAFT, WILLIAM H. The Presidency. 1916. Wilson, WOODROW. The President of the United States. 1916. The Congressional Directory.
QUESTIONS ON THE TEXT 1. What are the qualifications for the presidency? 2. Explain in detail how a President is elected.
3. For what term is a President chosen ? May he succeed himself?