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among the three highest on the list; without any obligation to take him who has most votes; because, in the first place, the Constitution would have declared him President at once, if it had been so intended ; and, in the next place, a majority of the people might have united upon one of the other candidates, in preference to him. But whoever is so chosen, should be considered the choice of the people ; since it is according to their will as expressed in the Constitution.
The qualifications required for President The qualifi. cations of President.
of the United States are, that he be a natural born citizen, or a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution ; that he shall have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States. Considering the importance of the office, and the great influence it has over the whole government, these qualifica
tions appear well calculated to prevent evils, to which other elective governments have
Were foreigners eligible to the office, it Native citiwould be an object of ambition or of policy”
with foreign nations to place a dependant in the situation ; and the scenes of corruption and bloodshed, which disgraced the annals of Poland, might have been acted over again in this country. The necessity of citizenship by birth precludes this, by rendering it impossible for any foreigner ever
neither of the candidates having a majority Election by of the whole number of electoral votes ;;. of
- * epresentathey, of course, have the right of selection tives.
Native citi-to be a candidate. The exception as to those
case of re
who were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, was justly due to those men who had united themselves with the fate of the new nation, and rendered eminent services in achieving its independence; and is, necessarily, of limited continuance. It is not necessary that a man should be born in this country, to be “a natural born citizen.” It is only requisite he should be a citizen by birth, and that is the case with all the children of citizens who have ever resided in this country, though born in a
The age required for President, is sufficient for him to have acquired full maturity of intellect, and to have established his character for ability and integrity, among his fellow citizens.
The qualification of fourteen years’ residence in the country is required, that he may be known to the community, and have a proper knowledge of, and attachment to, the laws and institutions of the country. Absence from the country, in the service of the United States, does not deprive a citizen of his residence, within the meaning of the Constitution.
In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation or
office, &c." inability to discharge the powers and duties
of the office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President; and Congress may, by law, provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, of both the President and Vice President; declaring what officer Provision in shall then act as President: and such officer “” *#. • - - --- moval from shall act accordingly, until the disability be office, &c. removed, or a President shall be elected. By law, enacted the 1st March, 1792, it is provided, that in case of a vacancy in the office, of both President, and Vice President; the president of the Senate pro tempore, and in case there should be no president of the Senate, then, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall act as President of the United States, until the disability be removed, or a president shall be elected. And whenever both these offices become vacant, the secretary of state is to notify the executive of each State of the fact, and also to give public notice that electors will be appointed in each State to elect a President and Vice President, unless the regular time of such election shall be within so short a period as to render it unnecessary.
The only evidence of a refusal to accept, Evidence or of a resignation of the office of President, . or Vice President, is declared by the same act of Congress, to be a declaration in writing,
filed in the office of the secretary of state.
The support of the President is secured President's by the Constitution, which declares that he . * 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. This provision is intended to preserve the dignity, and the independence
of the executive department. His compensation is to be fixed, before his term of service begins, and cannot be altered during its continuance. He is, therefore, in no way, dependent upon Congress, and has nothing to hope from their favour. “A control over a man’s living is, in most cases, a control over his actions ;” and it would be in vain to look for independence and energy in the President, if he were dependent upon Congress for his support. He is, therefore, wisely secured against this dependence, and even against the temptation to which he might be exposed, if Congress, or any of the States, could increase his regular compensation.
Before entering on the execution of his office, he is to take an oath or affirmation, that he will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. This oath is necessarily general in its terms. and adds the sanction of religious obligation to the duty already incurred by the acceptance of the office.
THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE
THE proper administration of the government, required that the President should be invested with very considerable powers. These are enumerated in general terms in The Presi. the Constitution. - dent.
He is the gommander in chief of the army comman.
and navy of the United States, and of the * militia of the several States, when called into
the actual service of the United States. Not
His right to require the written opinion opinions of heads of de
of the principal officers, in each of the exe-
The President has power to grant re-Reprieves
prieves, and pardons, for offences against the: