Lapas attēli

May be impeached.


undivided regard for the public welfare. The advice and consent of the senate, which are requisite to render the nomination effectual, cannot be attended, in the nature of the case, with very mischievous effects. Having no agency in the nomination, nothing but simply consent or refusal, the spirit of personal intrigue and personal attachment must be pretty much extinguished, from a want of means to gratify it. On the other hand, the advice of so respectable a body of men will add still further inducements to a coolly reflected conduct in the President, and will be at all times a check on his own misinformation or error.

The remaining duties of the President consist in giving information to Congress of the state of the Union, and in recommending to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary or expedient. He is to convene both houses of Congress, or either of them, on extraordinary occasions, and he may adjourn them in case of disagreement. He is to supply occasional vacancies that happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of their next session. He is to receive ambassadors and other public ministers, to commission all the officers of the United States, and take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

The propriety and simplicity of these duties speak for themselves. The power of receiving foreign ministers includes in it the power to dismiss them, since he alone is the organ of communication with them, the representative of the people in all diplomatic negotiations, and accountable to the community, not only for the execution of the law, but for the competent qualifications and conduct of foreign agents.

In addition to all the precautions which have been mentioned to prevent abuse of the executive trust, in the mode of the President's appointment, his term of office, and the

a Art. 2. sec. 2, 3.


precise and definite limitations imposed upon the exercise of his power, the constitution has also rendered him directly amenable by law for mal-administration. The inviolability of any officer of government is incompatible with the republican theory, as well as with the principles of retributive justice. The President, as well as all other officers of the United States, may be impeached by the house of representatives, for treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, and, upon conviction by the senate, removed from office. If, then, neither the sense of duty, the force of public opinion, nor the transitory nature of the seat, are sufficient to secure a faithful discharge of the executive trust, but the President will use the authority of his station to violate the constitution or law of the land, the house of representatives can arrest him in his career, by resorting to the power of impeachment.

I have now finished a general survey of the office of President of the United States, and, considering the nature and extent of the powers necessarily incident to that station, it was difficult to constitute the office in such a manner as to render it equally safe and useful, by combining in the structure of its powers a due proportion of energy and responsibility. The first is necessary, to maintain a firm administration of the law; the second is equally requisite, to preserve inviolate the liberties of the people. The authors of the constitution appear to have surveyed the two objects with profound discernment, and to have organized the executive department with consummate skill.

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As the judiciary power is intrusted with the administration of justice, it interferes more visibly and uniformly than any other part of government, with all the interesting concerns of social life. Personal security and private property, rest entirely upon the wisdom, the stability, and the integrity of the courts of justice. In the survey which is to be taken of the judiciary establishment of the United States, we will consider, (1.) The judges, in relation to their appointment, the tenure of their office, and their support and responsibility. (2.) The structure, powers, and officers of the several courts.


The advantages of the mode of appointment of public Judicial inofficers by the President and senate, have been already considered. This mode is peculiarly fit and proper in respect to the judiciary department. The just and vigorous investigation and punishment of every species of fraud and violence, and the exercise of the power of compelling every man to the punctual performance of his contracts, are grave duties, not of the most popular character, though the faithful discharge of them will certainly command the calm approbation of the judicious observer. The fittest men would probably have too much reservedness of manners, and severity of morals, to secure an election resting on universal suffrage. Nor can the mode of appointment by a large deliberative assembly, be entitled to unqualified approbation. There are too many occasions, and too much temptation for intrigue, party prejudice, and local interests, to permit such a body of men to act, in respect to such appointments, with a sufficiently single and steady regard for the general wel

fare. In ancient Rome, the prætor was chosen annually by the people, but it was in the comitia by centuries, and the choice was confined to persons belonging to the patrician order, until the close of the fourth century of the city, when the office was rendered accessible to the plebeians; and when they became licentious, says Montesquieu," the office became corrupt. The popular elections did very well, as he observes, so long as the people were free, and magnanimous, and virtuous, and the public was without corruption. But all plans of government which suppose the people will always act with wisdom and integrity, are plainly Utopian, and contrary to uniform experience. Government must be framed for man as he is, and not for man as he would be if he were free from vice. Without referring to those cases in our own country, where judges have been annually elected by a popular assembly, we may take the less invidious case of Sweden. During the diets which preceded the revolution in 1772, the states of the kingdom sometimes appointed commissioners to act as judges. The strongest party, says Catteau, prevailed in the trials that came before them, and persons condemned by one tribunal were acquitted by another.

By the constitution of the United States, "the judges both of the supreme and inferior courts are to hold their offices during good behaviour; and they are, at stated times, to receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office." The tenure of the office, by rendering the judges independent, both of the government and people, is admirably fitted to produce the free exercise of judgment in the discharge of their trust. This principle, which has been the subject of so much deserved eulogy, was derived from the English constitution. The English judges anciently held their seats

a Esprit des Loix, liv. 8. c. 12.

b View of Sweden, ch. 8.

c Art. 3. sec. 1.

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