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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."
§ 288. The duty of giving information by the President to Congress, of the state of the Union, and of recommending measures, would seem almost too clear to require any express provision. But it is not without its use. It fixes the responsibility on the President ; and, on the other hand, it disables Congress from taking any objection, that he is impertinently interfering with their appropriate duties. His knowledge of public affairs may be important to them; and the people ought consequently to have a right to demnand it. His recommendation of measures may give Congress the benefit of his large experience; and, at all events, may compel them to a just discharge of their legislative powers. So that, in this way, each department may be brought more fully before the public, both as to what each does, and what each omits to do, and each will share the responsibility accordingly.
$ 289. The power to convene Congress on extraordinary occasions is founded on the wisest policy. Sudden emergencies may arise in the recess of Congress, and be wholly beyond any previous foresight, yet indispensable to be met with promptitude and vigor. The power to adjourn Congress, in cases of disagreement between the two Houses, is a quiet way of disposing of a practical difficulty in cases of irritation or obstinate differences of opinion between them.
$ 290. The power to receive ambassadors and other public ministers, is a very important and delicate function ; and far more so, than it seems to have been deemed even by the framers of the Constitution. In times of profound tranquillity throughout the world, it may properly be con
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 safe, 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 Congress, but all the obligations of treaties, and all the requisitions of the Constitution, as the latter are, equally with the former, the 6 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 protection of rights, for the happiness and good order of citizens, or for the public and political liberties of the peo
$ 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, or usurp the functions of other departments of the government. 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 required by law. It is not designed, as some have incorrectly supposed, to give him a control over all appointments; 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, bribery, 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 impediment whatsoever. The President cannot, therefore,
be liable to arrest, imprisonment, or detention, while he is in 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 Constitution 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 structure and organization of the Legislative and Executive Departments, we next come to an examination of the remaining 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, must, under 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 powers.” 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 that 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 dependent 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 corruption, 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 contravened by the laws of the States. The National Gov