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Bonate should ill an offico, his responsibility would be as complete as if he were to make the final appointment. There can, in this view, be no difference between nominating and appointing. The same motives which would influence a proper discharge of his duty in one case, would exist in the other. And as no man could be appointed but upon his previous nomination, every man who might be appointed would be, in fact, his choice.
But his nomination may be overruled : This it certainly may; yet it can only be to make place for another nomination by himself. The person ultimately appointed, must be the object of his preference, though perhaps not in the first degree. It is also not probable, that his nomination would often be overruled. The senate could not be tempted, by the preference they might feol to another, to reject the one proposed; because they could not assure themselves, that tho person they might wish would be brought forward by a second or by any subsequent nomination. They could not even be certain, that a future nomination would present a candidate in any degree more acceptable to them: And as their dissent might cast a kind of stigma upon the individual rejected; and might have the appearance of a reflection upon the judgment of the chief magistrate; it is not likely that their sanction would often be refused, where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal.
To what purpose then require the co-operation of the senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though in general a silent, operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favouritism in the president, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from state prejudice, from family connexion, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.
It will readily be comprehended, that a man who had him. Belf the sole disposition of offices, would be governed much more by his private inclinations and interests, than wben he
was bound to submit the propriety of his choice to the discussion and determination of a different and independent body; and that body an entire branch of the legislature. The possibility of rejection, would be a strong motive to care in proposing The danger to his own reputation, and, in the case of an elective magistrate, to his political existence, from betraying a spirit of favouritism, or an unbecoming pursuit of popularity, to the observation of a body whose opinion would bave great weight in forming that of the public, could not fail to operato as a barrier to the one and to the other. We would be both ashamod and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same state to which he particularly belonged, or of being, in some way or other, personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.
To this reasoning it has been objected, that the president, by the influence of the power of nomination, may secure the complaisance of the senate to his views. The supposition of universal venality in human nature, is little less an error in political reasoning, than that of universal rectitude. The institution of delegated power implies, that there is a portion of virtue and honour among mankind, which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence; and experience justifies the theory. It has been found to exist in the most corrupt periods of the most corrupt governments. The vonality of tho British House of Commons has been long a topic of accusation against that body, in the country to which they belong, as well as in this; and it cannot
be doubted, that the charge is, to a considerable extent, well founded. But it is as little to be doubted, that there is always
a large proportion of the body, which consists of independent and public spirited men, who have an influential weight in the councils of the nation. Hence it is, (the present reign not excepted) that the sense of that body is often seen to control the inclinations of the monarch, both with regard to men and tu
measures. Though it might therefore be allowable to suppose, that the executive might occasionally influence some individuals in the senate, yet the supposition, that he could in general purchase the integrity of the whole body, would be forced and improbable. A man disposed to view human nature as it is, without either flattering its virtues, or exaggerating its vices, will see sufficient ground of confidence in the probity of the senate, to rest satisfied, not only that it will be impracticable to the executive to corrupt or seduce a majority of its members, but that the necessity of its co-operation, in the business of appointments, will be a considerable and salutary restraint upon the conduct of that magistrate. Nor is the integrity of the senate the only reliance. The constitution has provided some important guards against the danger of executive influence upon the legislative body: It declares, “that no senator or representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the United States, which sball bave been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of eithor house during his continuance in office."
NEW YORK, APRIL 4, 1788.
THE VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRESIDENT CONCLUDED,
WITH A FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE POWER OF APPOINTMENT, AND A CONCISE EXAMINATION OF HIS REMAINING POWERS.
It has been mentioned as one of the advantages to be expected from the co-operation of the senate, in the business of appointments, that it would contribute to the stability of the administration. The consent of that body would be necessary to displace as well as to appoint.* A change of the chief magistrate, therefore, would not occasion so violont or so gonoral a revolution in the officers of the government as might be expected, if he were the sole disposer of offices. Where a man, in any station, had given satisfactory evidence of his fitness for it, a new president' would be restrained from attempting a change in favour of a person more agreeable to him, by the apprehension that the discountenance of the senate might frustrate the attempt, and bring some degree of discredit upon himself. Those who can best estimate the value of a steady administration, will be most disposed to prize a provision, which connects the official existence of public men with the approba.
* This construction has since been rejected by the legislature; and it is now settled in practice, that the power of displacing belongs exclusively to the president.
tion or disapprobation of that body, which, from the greater permanency of its own composition, will, in all probability, bo less subject to inconstancy than any other member of the gov. ernment.
To this union of the senate with the president, in the article of appointments, it has in some cases been objected, that it would serve to give the prosident an undue influence over the senate; and in others, that it would have an opposite tendency; a strong proof that neither suggestion is true.
To state the first in its proper form, is to refute it. It amounts to this the president would have an improper influence over the senate; because the senate would have the
of restraining him. This is an absurdity in terms. It cannot admit of a doubt, that the entire power of appointment would enable him much more effectually to establish a dangerous empire over that body, than a more power of nomination subject to their control.
Let us take a view of the converse of the proposition, “The senate would influence the executive." As I have had occasion to remark in several other instances, the indistinctness of the objection forbids a precise answer. In what manner is this influence to be exerted ? In relation to what objects? The power of influencing a person, in the sense in which it is here used, must imply a power of conferring a benefit upon him. How could the sonate confer a benefit upon the president by the manner of employing their right of negative upon his nominations? If it be said they might sometimos gratify him by an acquiescence in a favourite choice, when public motives might dictate a different conduct; I answer, that the instances in which the president could be personally interested in the result, would be too few to admit of his being materially affected by the compliances of the senate. Besides this, it is ovident, that the POWER which can originate the disposition of bonours and emoluments, is more likely to attract than to be attracted by the POWER which can morely obstruct their courso. If by influencing the president be meant restraining him, this is