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fided to the Executive alone. But it is not so clear, that the Senate ought not, in cases of revolutions in foreign governments, to partake of the functions, by their advice and consent. The refusal to receive an ambassador or minister, is sometimes a source of discontent to foreign nations, and may even provoke public hostilities. But in cases of revolution, or the separation of a kingdom into two or more distinct governments, the acknowledgement of an ambassador or minister, of either party, is often treated as an interference in the contest, and may lead to an open rupture. There would therefore seem to be a peculiar propriety, in all such cases, to require greater caution on the part of the Executive, by interposing some check upon his own unlimited discretion. Our own times have furnished abundant examples of the critical nature of the trust; but it has hitherto been exercised with such sound judgement, that the power has been felt to be practically sale, and eminently useful.
$ 291. Another duty of the President is, " to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” And by the laws we are here to understand, not merely the acts of Con gress, but all the obligations of treaties, and all the requisitions of the Constitution, as the latter are, equally with the former, the “ supreme law of the land.” The great object of the establishment of the executive department is, to accomplish, in this enlarged sense, a faithful execution of the laws. Without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for confidence, or defence, for the redress of grievances, or the protec. tion of rights, for the happiness and good order of citi zens, or for the public and political liberties of the peo ple.
§ 292. But we are not to understand, that this clause confers on the President any new and substantial power to cause the laws to be faithfully executed, by any means, which he shall see fit to adopt, although not prescribed by the Constitution, or by the acts of Congress. That would be to clothe him with an absolute despotic power over the lives, the property, and the rights of the whole people. A tyrannical President might, under a pretence of this
sort, punish for a crime, without any trial by jury, oi usurp the functions of other departments of the govern
The true interpretation of the clause is, that the President is to use all such means as the Constitution and laws have placed at his disposal, to enforce the due execution of the laws. As, for example, if crimes are committed, he is to direct a prosecution by the proper public officers, and see, that the offenders are brought to justice. If treaties are violated by foreign nations, he is to make suitable demands for a due enforcement of them ; but he cannot employ the public force, or make war, to accomplish the purpose.
If public officers refuse or neglect to perform their appropriate duties, he is bound to remove them, and appoint others who will honestly and faithfully perform them.
§ 293. The remaining duty is, “ to commission all the officers of the United States." The President cannot lawfully refuse, or neglect it in any case, where it is re. quired by law. It is not designed, as some have incor rectly supposed, to give him a control over all appoint ments ; but to give to the officers a perfect voucher of their right to office. In this view, it is highly important, as it introduces uniformity and regularity into all the departments of the government, and furnishes an indisputable evidence of a rightful appointment.
$ 294. The remaining section of this article contains an enumeration of the persons, who shall be liable to be removed from office by impeachment, and for what offences. It is, “ The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, pribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The true objects and interpretation of this clause have been already sufficiently considered.
$ 295. There are other incidental powers, belonging to the executive department, which are necessarily implied from the nature of the functions, which are confided to it. Among these, must necessarily be included the power to perform them, without any obstruction or im pediment whatsoever. The President cannot, therefore, do liable to arrest, imprisonment, or detention, while he is w the discharge of the duties of his office; and for this purpose his person must be deemed, in civil cases at least, to possess an official inviolability. In the exercise of his political powers, he is to use his own discretion, and is accountable only to his country, and to his own conscience. His decision, in relation to these powers, is subject to no control; and his discretion, when exercised, is conclusive. But he has no authority to control other officers of the government, in relation to the duties imposed upon them by law, in cases not touching his own political powers.
$ 296. Thus is closed the examination of the rights, powers, and duties of the Executive department. Unless my judgement has been unduly biased, I think it will be found impossible to withhold from this part of the Cons'itution a tribute of profound respect, if not of the liveliest admiration. All, that seems desirable in order to gratify the hopes, secure the reverence, and sustain the dignity the nation, is, that it should always be occupied by a man of elevated talents, of ripe virtues, of incorruptible integrity, and of tried patriotism ; one, who shall forget his own interests, and remember, that he represents not a party, but the whole nation ; one, whose fame may be rested with posterity, not upon the false eulogies of favorites, but upon the solid merit of having preserved the glory, and enhanced the prosperity of the country.
The Judicial Department.
$ 297. Having finished our examination of the struc:ture and organization of the Legislative and Executive Departments, we next come to an examination of the "emaining coordinate department, the JUDICIARY. No one, who has duly reflected, can doubt, that the existence of such a department, with powers coextensive with those of the Legislative and Executive departments, is indispen
sable to the safety of a free government. Where there is no Judiciary department to interpret, pronounce, and execute the laws, to decide controversies, to punish offences, and to enforce rights, the government must either perish from its own weakness, or the other departments of government must usurp powers for the purpose of commanding obedience, to the utter extinction of civil and political liberty. The will of those who govern, inust, urder such circumstances, become absolute and despotic and it is wholly immaterial, whether absolute power be vested in a single tyrant, or in an assembly of tyrants. No remark is better founded in human experience than that of Montesquieu, that “there is no liberty, if the judiciary be not separated from the legislative and executive pow
It is no less true, that personal security and private property depend entirely upon the wisdom, integrity, and stability of courts of justice. How, otherwise, are the innocent to be protected against unjust accusations, or the injured to obtain redress for their wrongs? If thay government can be truly said to be despotic and intolerable, in which the law is vague and uncertain ; it cannot but be rendered still more oppressive and more mischievous, when the actual administration of justice is depend ent upon caprice, or favor, upon the will of rulers, or the influence of popularity. When power becomes right, it is of little consequence, whether decisions rest upon cor ruption, or weakness, upon the accidents of chance, or upon deliberate wrong. In every well-organized government, therefore, with reference to the security both of public rights and private rights, it is indispensable, that there should be a judicial department, to ascertain, and decide, rights, to punish crimes, to administer justice, and to protect the innocent from injury and usurpation.
$298. In the National Government, the judicial power is equally as important, as it is in the States.
The want of it was a vital defect in the Confederation ; and led to the most serious embarrassments during the brief existence of that ill-adjusted instrument. Without it, the laws of the Union would be perpetually in danger of being con. travened by the laws of the States The National Gov.
ernment would be reduced to a servile dependence upon the latter for the due execution of its powers; and we should have reacted over the same solemn mockery, · which began in the neglect, and ended in the ruin of the Confederation. Power without adequate means to enforce it, is like a body in a state of suspended animation. For all practical purposes, it is, as if its faculties were extinguished. A single State might, under such circumstances, at its mere pleasure, suspend the whole operations of the Union.
$ 299. Two ends, of paramount importance, and fun damental to a free government, are to be attained by a National Judiciary. The first is, a due execution of the powers of the government; the second is, a uniformity of interpretation and operation of those powers, and of the laws made in pursuance of them. The power of interpreting the laws, necessarily involves the power to decide, whether they are conformable to the Constitution, or not; and in a conflict between the laws, State or National, and the Constitution, no one can doubt, that the latter is, and ought to be, of paramount obligation and force. And, accordingly, it has always been deemed a function indispensable to the safety and liberty of the people, that courts of justice should have a right to declare void such laws, as violate the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution, having these great principles in view, unanimously adopted two fundamental resolutions on this subject ; first, that a National Judiciary ought to be established; and secondly, that it ought to possess powers coextensive with those of the legislative department.
$ 300. The third article of the Constitution shows the manner, in which these great principles are carried into effect. The first section is, “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts, as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the
supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during - good behavior; and shall at stated times receive for their
services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.” The establishmen' 16