The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch - I. II. III. IV. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH...

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THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH I. Power of Removal a. President can remove principle officers at will b. President cannot fire at will those not confirmed by senate I. Appointment Power c. Congress can vest the appointment of inferior officers in the president, or the federal courts, or the heads of departments d. Who is an inferior officer? Principle officers can appoint non-principle officers e. Morrison v. Olson 1988 i. Facts: Ethics in Government Act – allows for the appointment of an “independent counsel” to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute certain high-ranking Government officials for violations of federal criminal laws ii. Held: The Court held that provisions of the Ethics in Government Act do not violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, Art. II, Section 2, Clause 2, or the limitations of Article III, nor do they impermissibly interfere with the President’s authority under Article II in violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers iii. Reasoning: permissible for Congress to vest appointment in the federal courts because the independent counsel is an inferior rather than a principle officer iv. Factors: presents factors for distinguishing an inferior officer: 1. The independent counsel was subject to removal by a higher officer 2. The officer performed only limited duties rather than broad authority and participates in formulating police for the executive branch 3. The officer’s jurisdiction is limited by the instructions from the appointing court 4. The officer’s tenure is limited II. Removal Power f. President may remove executive officials at will UNLESS removal is limited by statute g. Congress, by statute, may limit removal both if it is an officer where independence from the President is desirable, and if the law does not prohibit removal but, rather, limits removal to instances where GOOD CAUSE EXISTS III. Power to Delegate h. President cannot seize industry, only legislative action i. Congress cannot give away their power to the President j. A law is unconstitutional when Congress delegates excessive legislative power or upsets the constitutionality mandated balance of powers among the branches of government 1
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IV. Case Law k. Myers v. United States 1926 i. Facts: First-Class Postmaster in Portland, Oregon, was removed from office by President 1. An 1876 law provided shall be appointed and may be removed by the President with the advice & consent of the Senate ii. Issue: his dismissal violated the law? iii. Held: Removal not unconstitutional iv. Reasoning: Power to remove is incident of the power to appoint v. The President has the exclusive power of removing executive officers of the US whom he has appointed b and with the advice & consent of the Senate vi. He explained that the ability of the President to control the personnel in administrative positions is central to the executive power vii. Broad proposition that any congressional limits on the removal power are unconstitutional l. Humphrey’s Executor v. United States 1935
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The Executive Branch - I. II. III. IV. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH...

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