Article 2: The Executive Branch
The main focus of Article II of the United States Constitution is the executive branch and the role that it plays in the government. By definition an executive is “a person or group of persons having administrative or supervisory authority in an organization.” The President, who is elected, is the head of the executive branch and the US government’s chain of command. Second in command is the Vice President who must also be elected. Article II is broken down into four sections in the Constitution and outlines who the qualifications to run, the term that a President can hold office, as well as the duties, responsibilities and powers that he has and the grounds for impeachment.
Section one of Article II outlines the executive power in 7 clauses.
Clause 1 and Clause 2 support each other. Clause 1 states that the President of the United States shall hold office for a term of four years with a Vice President who must be elected for the same term and that executive power shall be vested in the President. Clause 2 describes the appointment and qualifications for presidential electors. In Clause 2, it says that each state shall appoint a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and representative to which the state may be entitled in the congress but no senator or representative that hold office under the United States can be appointed as an elector. This means that each state chooses electors equal to the number of representatives, representing them in congress, but no senators, representatives or federal officers can become an elector. It then goes on to describe the original method of electing the president and vice president. Originally, an elector would cast two votes for the president, one at least one vote had to be from a state different than the elector’s and who ever had the majority of votes became the president and the vice president would be the runner up. If there was no person who received the majority of votes the House of Representatives could have chosen one of the five with the greatest number of votes. If there was a tie, the House of Representatives could have chosen one of the candidates. When the House would vote, each state representative would cast one vote, and a quorum of two-thirds applied in both houses. One member from two thirds of the States, and a member from two thirds of the states and a majority of all the states were necessary to choose a President. If two or more candidates tied, the senate broke the tie. This was superseded by the twelfth amendment which made some significant changes. Now, electors cast one vote for president and one for vice president rather than two votes for president. If there is a case where no presidential candidate receives the majority, the house chooses from the top three instead of the top five. In addition, the amendment requires the senate to choose the vice president from the candidates with the two highest figures if no vice president candidate receives the majority of electoral votes. The twelfth amendment also specifies that to be vice president, a candidate must also qualify to be President.
Clause 3 states that congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and the day for casting their votes. Clause 4 states the qualifications for the office of the president. According to the clause, the president and vice president must be at least 35 years old, both must be a natural born citizen of the United States, and both must have been a U.S. resident for 14 years. The twelfth amendment required the vice president to meet all the qualifications of an eligible president and the twenty-second amendment prevents a president from being elected more than twice. The 5th clause states that in the case of removal of the president from office, or his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of office, the vice president shall assume his...
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