Doctrine of Pleasure in Other Constitutions

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 188
  • Published : December 5, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
The Doctrine of Pleasure exists in some form or the other in most States of the world. In this section, we examine a few Constitutions and see how they have applied the Doctrine to their existing political systems. United States of America-

In the USA, the State Governor may be removed by the process of impeachment by State Legislature. Some State Constitutions also provide for recall of a Governor by popular vote. In the Senate, while debating whether to give the President the power to remove officers appointed by him, Ellsworth was of the opinion that, there is an explicit grant of power to the President, which contains the power of removal. The President, not the Senate, appoints. Thus, the grant of power for removal should also be made express, not implicit. To this Butler replied saying, the power of removal would be unhinging the equilibrium of power in the Constitution. Grayson reiterated this view, for according to him, the removal of officers was not palatable. According to him, the Constitution was a three-legged stool. If one of the legs is longer than the others, the stool will not stand.

Congressional assertion of the power to power to limit Presidential removal of executive officers dates back to The Tenure of Office Act, 1867, which forbade presidential removal of designated Cabinet members without the consent of the Senate. The Tenure of Office Act was repealed in 1887, and a similar law restricting the president’s power to remove postmasters was declared unconstitutional in 1926.

Chief Justice Taft’s majority opinion in Myers is the primary source of the modern theory of removal. He concluded that “the power of removal is incident to the power of appointment”. Myers could be understood to mean that Congress may not place any limits on President’s power to remove executive officers; or it could be read as embodying the proposition that, whatever the limits of presidential removal power, Congress could not cede to itself any role in removing government officials. The former reading was repudiated in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States. Specifically the court ruled that the president could not, at his pleasure, remove from office, before the expiration of his statutory term, a Federal Trade Commissioner, where the Congress sought to deny such discretion to the President. The Court embraced the second possible interpretation of Myers in Bowsher v Synar. The President shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not in the Constitution otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment the appointment of such inferior officers in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments. The power to appoint includes the power to remove; but this equally requires the advice and consent of the senate or may by law be made to do so. The Constitution nowhere explicitly indicates whether the President possesses the power to remove appointed officers, other than federal judges and subordinate employees. However, the Supreme Court has attempted to fill this gap by linking the power of removal to the power of appointment explicitly defined in Article II, S. 2. The prerogative of erecting and disposing of offices arises from the principle that honours and offices are in their nature convertible and synonymous. All offices under the crown carry in the eye of the law an honour along with them; because they imply a superiority of parts and abilities, being supposed to be always filled by those that are most able to execute them. If there is a total silence in the Constitution, it is natural to conclude that an officer holding during pleasure is removable by the same power which appointed him, whether vested in...
tracking img