Press enter after choosing selection

Tinkering The Constitution

Tinkering The Constitution image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Severa] proponed BmendmoDtu to the Constiiiiti.m of the Slat aro pending n one or the other hranch of tho Legi.slalure ; and among them the following lian ben iutroduced into both tho Sonato and House : " Tho Governor s-hall have power, and it ftball be his duty, except at BUch times as the Legislatura may be n nession, tf examina into tho oondition and adm'nislration of any public offico and the acts of any public officer, electivo or appointedj to remove from office for gross noglect of duty, or lor 'corrupt conduct in office, or any other misfeasance or malfcasance thcroin, cither of the fol.owing Stats officers, to wit : The At'orncy General, State Treasuror, Commissioner of tho Land Office, Seeretary of the State, Auditor General, Superintendent of Public Inetruotion, or memberoof the State Board of Education, or anv other ofHoer of the State, elective or appointed, and to appoint a successor for the romainder of heir respective non-expired t rm of office." Now, we are not preparad to say that the ConstitutioD raay noc need ehanging upon this point ; but we tuink wo are quite prepared to 6ay that I... make the chango proposed abovo. 7ould bo to make it eminenrly worwe thanitisat present. It might be wel! to authbrize the Governor to ramove, or what is better to suapend until the next meeting of the Legislatura any State officer charged with gross violatiou or neglect ot duty, and to fill va cancies temporarily : it is most certainly conferring a dangerotis power toauthorize hirn to remove "any officer of the State, electife or appointed, and to appoint a euccessor for the remainder of his non-expireii term of office." Todo thia is (o make an autocrat of the Governor, and to cease and termínate every official term of office at his pleasure. The Governor is ïnade tho judge of the ''rnisieasaoce or malleasance," and he can appoint to the raost important offise for a full term, without even the poor formality of a confirmation by the Senate, now required for all minor appointments. We submit that it is not safe to confer upon the Governor the unlimited power provided for by the above con templuted auiendinent. It is hardly safe to giv him the absolute power to remove one of the ordmary State officers, much less to authorizc him to remove n Judge oi the Snpreme Court - who is certaiüly "an officer of the State" - and appoint his sucecssor for a term of sis orseven years. As we have already eaid, he - tho Governoi - is maile the judge of the " misfeasance or malfeasance," and an unscrupulous Es ecutive might en ti rol y reorganize tho Supretr.e Court; he mightreorganize the Board of Education and the Board of Regente of the Uuiversity, áml change the character and policy of those ingtitutions at pleasure; and who should check his machination or stay his hand. Never should an Executive have the power to remove an elective oSice, and appoint hie successor without the consent of the Legiolaturejor at least of tho Senate ; and then he should not be authorized to appoint an incunabent to hold beyond a general election. We havo an instance of tho use of such power, unconstitutionally conferred upon the Governor by the Legislature, to wit: in tho death of the J udge of Probate elect - who waa also Judge for the last term - of Oukland County, before the commencement of his new term. Gov. Wis.vek appointed an incumbent íor the balance of the old term, anii Gov. Blair has appointed a different ono for tho full term of four years, who may or who may not bo the man the people of the couuty would haveelected had it beea refuned to thern. If any change is desirable or necossary, it is not the uhange abovo proposed. Better as it is, with the power uf removal investod in the Legislature, which can be called together in case of an emergcuoy, and an officer removed by impeachment or resol utioD The propoaed amendmentis only going from one extreme to the other, while the middle course is the true one


Old News
Michigan Argus