Article 2, Section 1, Clauses 2 and 3
[Volume 3, Page 551]
James Madison, Observations on Jefferson's Draft of a Constitution for Virginia15 Oct. 1788Papers 11:289
Executive Governour. An election by the Legislature is liable to insuperable objections. It not only tends to faction intrigue and corruption, but leaves the Executive under the influence of an improper obligation to that department. An election by the people at large, as in this & several other States--or by Electors as in the appointment of the Senate in Maryland, or indeed by the people through any other channel than their legislative representatives, seem to be far preferable. The ineligibility a second time, though not perhaps without advantages, is also liable to a [Volume 3, Page 552] variety of strong objections. It takes away one powerful motive to a faithful & useful administration, the desire of acquiring that title to a re-appointment. By rendering a periodical change of men necessary, it discourages beneficial undertakings which require perseverance and system, or, as frequently happened in the Roman Consulate, either precipitates or prevents the execution of them. It may inspire desperate enterprizes for the attainment of what is not attainable by legitimate means. It fetters the judgment and inclination of the Community; and in critical moments would either produce a violation of the Constitution, or exclude a choice which might be essential to the public safety. Add to the whole, that by putting the Executive Magistrate in the situation of the tenant of an unrenewable lease, it would tempt him to neglect the constitutional rights of his department, and to connive at usurpations by the Legislative department, with which he may connect his future ambition or interest.
The Papers of James Madison. Edited by William T. Hutchinson et al. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1962--77 (vols. 1--10); Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1977--(vols. 11--).
© 1987 by The University of Chicago