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the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.” The President has too much patronage. Departmental officers must meet with his approbation, from clerk to janitor. The framers of the Constitution mean by “the courts of law the supreme and inferior courts of the United States. Try the judges. They are not elective, and ought not to be partisan. Great patronage is the dower of kings. Presidents should be free from its inviting corruption.
What is really the popular branch of the Federal government?
A late writer makes the following remarks: “The only officers of the general government chosen by the suffrage of the whole people are the President and Vice-President. This was not the intention of the framers of the Federal Constitution. The Constitution leaves the members of the electoral college free to elect any properly qualified citizen to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency; but, as every one knows, they really vote under inviolable instructions. It is true that a popular majority does not always secure the success of a presidential ticket; but the electoral college is constituted upon a far more popular basis than the Senate. The electoral vote of a great State, like New York, for instance, cannot be offset by that of Nevada, though in the Senate New York and Nevada have precisely the same numerical strength. In any case, it may be said that the President has been chosen by a general election. He does not represent merely one State or one congressional district. The executive branch is, therefore, the most popular branch of the general government.
“It is well, sometimes, to be reminded of this fact, especially when the President's public policy is persistently opposed by a congressional majority -a condition which has occurred repeatedly in the history of this country."
What is the oath of a President of the United States ?
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." No mention of a “nation” or “national government.” To “preserve, protect, and defend” is to
use only constitutional names and language in every public utterance and document, and emphasize them by appropriate acts, as well as to execute the laws within his jurisdiction. Yet one of our ablest Presidents and statesmen lately wrote: “The nation's strength is in her people; the nation's prosperity is in their prosperity; the nation's glory is in the equality of her justice; the nation's perpetuity is in the patriotism of her people.” The same writer, alluding to the assassination of President Carnot of France, called these United States “the American nation."
The following is a centralizing prayer from a well-known rabbi at a banquet: “If Thou didst call thy chosen people thy servant, is not also this great nation thy servant ? If this nation finds its earth task in showing mankind the administration of human government in accordance with thy laws, shall it not attain a crown of lasting glory?"
Why are such utterances misleading ?
Because they violate, unintentionally, of course, both the letter and spirit of the constitutions of the several States and of the United States. Further, such unconstitutional expressions educate the young men of the country in European methods of centralization. They lead up to one man and despotism.
Can the President adjourn Congress ? “He may," says Article II., section 3, "on
extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses or either of them, and, in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjourn. ment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper." The evident meaning is that the President can only adjourn Congress when Congress, in special session, cannot adjourn themselves, which is a fit conclusion of “ extraordinary occasions." This clause of section 3 relates solely to extra sessions. It is not to be understood as infringing upon the time fixed by law for regular sessions. The Constitution names the second Monday of December, but Congress may appoint a different day.
Can Congress order a general quarantine ?
No. In the enumerated powers of Congress not a word can be found that authorizes the enactment of a general quarantine. The matter of quarantine belongs to the reserved rights of the States. The creation of a “national quarantine " is absurd. We have sugared our tea with this “ national " misnomer so long that it becomes nauseating In the late conflict of the general government with the health officers of the State of New York, the former justly suffered. The State of New York owns the water approaches to the city of New York, and had the right to declare what foreign vessels from infected ports should not cast anchor in the docks. It is the duty of Congress to keep such approaches unobstructed. Congress have no power over quarantine, save when it relates to the navy-yards and other sea-coast property of the United States.
Is there a constitutional holiday ?
Certainly not. The machinery of the govern- . ment of the United States moves perpetually. The Constitution, Article II., section i, clause 4, says: “The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States." After depositing his vote the carpenter may return to his plane, the merchant to his counter. There is no suffrage holiday, nor can courts of justice be closed on the day of “choosing electors."
Each State may make a holiday of any day, but the United States have no constitutional authority to do so for the States. Uniformity in the day of voting for electors is simply to prevent corruption of the count and undue influence by unscrupulous officials. The United States have no yeligion. Neither has a State. Our systems of government are secular, and, as such, a departure from European and Asiatic methods.