Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Article II - The Executive Branch

Section 1 - The President

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-President. (This clause in parentheses was superseded by the 12th Amendment.)

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected. (This clause in parentheses has been modified by the 20th and 25th Amendments.)

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4 - Disqualification

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

1 comment:

pamjrp said...

The Executive
The duty of the Executive Branch is to enforce the laws of the United States. The branch is headed by the President. The Constitution sets out the qualifications for the President in Article 2, Section 1:

•35 years old or older
•Must be a natural-born U.S. citizen
•Must have lived in the United States for fourteen years
There is a bit of ambiguity in some of these requirements. First, the definition of "natural-born" is a matter of law, and, hence, interpretation. For example, the child of American citizens who happened to be overseas when the child was born is considered natural-born. A child born in an acquired U.S. territory (such the U.S. Virgin Islands) is considered a citizen at birth as determined by law. To be safe, a person is eligible to be President if that person was born in a state after the date of statehood. If a person was born in a territory or overseas, one should check the U.S. Code (Title 8) to be sure. Next, there is no clarity on the 14 year requirement. Few think that it means 14 consecutive years inside the United States, as that would likely disqualify many citizens who traveled abroad or who lived in military bases. Some think it should mean 14 accumulated years from birth, including time in U.S. military bases, embassies, and off-shore offices of U.S. corporations. It may take a Supreme Court decision to set the rule in stone.

Note that there is no restriction in terms of gender, race, class, social standing, or any other classification, for President or Vice President.

The other Constitutional members of the Executive are the Vice President, who, by virtue of the 12th Amendment must have the exact same qualifications as the President in order to be VP; the Executive Departments (see The Cabinet Topic for details); the Military; various Agencies, Councils, Advisors, and Offices that work with and for the President; and Embassies, Missions, and Ambassadors to international organizations and foreign nations.

The President is restricted to two full elected terms in office by the 22nd Amendment. This is the only term limit in the Constitution. There is no restriction of term for the Vice President or any of the non-elected members of the Executive Branch. The longest serving President was Franklin Roosevelt, who, in a time of national emergency, overturned a traditional (but not legal) two-term limit first set by George Washington. Roosevelt was elected four times. The shortest serving President was William Harrison, who died after one month in office.

The President has several constitutional duties aside from the general "enforce the laws" duty. These are:

•To be Commander in Chief of the military
•To conduct foreign affairs
•To negotiate treaties with other nations
•To nominate members of the cabinet, judiciary, etc.
•To review and sign or veto bills
•To administer the laws of the nation
•To issue pardons as he sees fit
•To address the Congress from time to time to assess the state of the nation
The President, as leader of the nation, and as leader of his or her party, de facto if not de jure, has several other roles. These are:

•Morale builder
•Party Leader
•Legislative leader
•Coalition builder
•Crisis manager
•Personnel recruiter
•World Leader
•Budget Setter
•Priority setter
•Bargainer and Persuader
•Conflict resolver