Separation Of Powers Of The Constitution

Submitted By darksandz93
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Pages: 4

In the early years of framing the constitution, the “executive” was an ambiguous figure with ambiguous powers. They state that even the first lines of Article II was vague and unclear in exactly what executive powers were. There was a struggle defining executive powers as the powers from the British Crown was still fresh, they didn’t know what powers to assign the executive in comparison with other authorities. In regards to a king, they believed that stripping the powers of governing without the legislative, the veto, then he would be left to executive functions. Locke identified the need for a “federative” which powers were paralleled with the executive in his belief that they were allowed in “applying, ignoring, or even defying standing laws”. The early ideas of separation of powers that resonates through today was illustrated by Montesquieu in his belief of powers that executed laws, executing public resolutions, and a supreme court of sorts. While others pointed out flaws in his argument, Monteqieus warning of two forms of power concentrated in one entity appealed to early Americans.
The wrongdoings and abuse of powers by early royal governors prompted the writers of the constitution to abolish the exclusive rights of the former in the newer executives and to administer a separation of powers. However, wartime governance proved a supreme legislature ineffective and an executive too weak; a problem which William Livingston and James Madison recognized. Early restoration of executive power was limitedand separation of powers functioned more as to limit the executive than providing balance. One notable person who objected the construction of the early government was John Jay who felt that executive and judicial powers vested in one was unwise and should be separated. He, along with Morris, Hamilton, Wilson, and Gouverneur were supporters of an “energetic executive”. He was certain that the executive should be able to defend themselves against legislature.
Roger Sherman suggestion that “no constitutional provision need be made for the executive because it was nothing more than an institution for carrying the will of the legislature into effect”
Three distinct phases in evolution of presidency- first was to vest executive power in a single person who would in turn wield a limited veto over legislation. Second phase framers struggled to reconcile general principle of an independent executive with different options for rules of election and tenure.
In the case of delegating the length of term of the executive, the framers were hesitant. They knew it couldn’t be too short if the executive wanted to avoid an encroachment by the legislation, but it couldn’t be too long otherwise he may resemble the crown which they were eager to avoid again.
They faced many problems in defining the executive such as reeligibility, long terms reminiscent of a monarchy. They proposed the president to convey recommendations to congress, be sure that laws were faithfully executed, and be commander in chief. The deliberations on September 4 proposed that the power of making treaties and nominating ambassadors , supreme court judges, was to be given to the president. They also gave the power of presidential impeachment to the House and trial to the Senate. Debate between delegates seems to offer reason that the conduct of foreign relation as an executive power stemmed from the inadequacies