Sec.12. “The president shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session.” (Art. 2, sec. 2, clause 3.) Without such a power somewhere, the public interests would often suffer serious injury before the senate should again be in session to act upon a nomination by the president. As it is his duty to see that the business of the executive offices is faithfully done, he seems to be the proper person to make such temporary appointment.
Sec.13. The powers and duties of the president enumerated in the next section of the constitution, are all necessary to insure a successful administration of the government; and they are so clearly of an executive nature, that they could not with any degree of propriety have been devolved upon any other officer or department of the government.
Sec.14. The last section of this article of the constitution enumerates the persons liable to be removed from office by impeachment, and the offenses for which they are thus removable. As in the state governments, so in the general government, impeachments are made by the house of representatives, and tried by the senate. (Chap. XX, Sec.6-8; Cons. U.S., art. I, Sec.2, 3.)
Auxiliary Executive Departments. Departments of State, of the Treasury, of the Interior, of War, of the Navy, of the Post-Office; Attorney-General.
Sec.1. The great amount and variety of the executive business of the nation, requires the division of this department into several subordinate departments, and the distribution among them of the different kinds of public business. At the head of each of these departments is a chief officer. These chief officers, sometimes called heads of departments, with the attorney general, being private advisors or counselors of the president, are called the cabinet. They are appointed by the president and senate.
Sec.2. By the first congress under the constitution, were established the state, treasury, and war departments, whose head officers, called secretaries, and the attorney-general, constituted the first cabinet. In 1798, the navy department was established. During president Jackson’s term of office, the postmaster-general was made a cabinet officer. And the establishment, in 1849, of the department of the interior, added to the cabinet the seventh member.
Sec.3. The secretary of state performs such duties as are committed to him by the president relating to foreign intercourse. Some of these duties have been mentioned. (Chap. XXXIX, Sec.6.) He conducts all our diplomatic correspondence, being the official organ of communication with the ministers of foreign governments sent to this country, and with our ministers abroad. Diplomacy signifies the rules and customs which govern the intercourse of nations through their ministers or agents; also the management of the business of a nation by its minister at a foreign court. And such minister, especially if he manages with ability and skill, is called a diplomatist.