Ep. 42: U.S. Constitution – Article II, Section 1 – Presidential Term & Election, Part 2

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Ep. 42: U.S. Constitution - Article II, Section 1 - Presidential Term & Election, Part 2
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Show Notes

In this episode, Jason continues the discussion of the Executive branch. He explains how the process of electing the President of the United States was originally set forth. He also explains how Congress chooses when the presidential electors are appointed by the state legislatures and when they cast their votes in the Electoral College.

[3]“The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

[4] “The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

  • U.S. Constitution, Amendment XII
  • Records of the Federal Convention (see vol 1, vol 2, vol 3).
  • Federalist #68 (Hamilton)
    • They have not made the appointment of the president to depend on any pre-existing bodies of men who might be tampered with before hand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment.
  • Interesting excerpt from the Records of the Federal Convention about a comment by James Madison
    • Mr. (Madison)- thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community agst the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service, was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression . He might betray his trust to foreign powers
      • PECULA’TION–The act, practice or crime of defrauding the public by appropriating to one’s own use the money or goods entrusted to one’s care for management or disbursement; embezzlement of public money or goods.

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