Thursday, June 28, 2007

American Government for the 21st Century Part II

As I was watching the Backyardigans with my daughter, I saw the Vice President's logic. You see there was a song on the show that had a chorus...."You can't go fast if you go to slow". That makes perfect sense in the double speak of Dick Cheney.... He claims executive privileges when it suits him, but does not want to be limited by the oversight that the executive branch puts upon him.

I find this confusing. As a civics teacher, I always thought that the office of the Vice Presidency was part of the Executive Branch. Maybe I was wrong. Well, the Internet allows me to pull up the U.S. Constitution at a moment’s notice. Alas, here it is:

Part of Article I section 3:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

Article II

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 choose from them by ballot the Vice President.


That is a bit outdated for obvious reasons, so lets see what has changed...


Amendment 12 amending Article II of the U.S. Constitution (concerning the Executive Branch):

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority,

While I only took parts of both of these items, it was not in any attempt to remove the necessary context of either source. It was simply to make the blog more readable.

Even with the amendment, the office of the Vice Presidency falls within the Executive Branch. The office holder has the responsibility to perform certain duties in the Senate (cast a vote to break a tie), but that does not make the Vice Presidency part of the legislative branch of the federal government. Wait, as a teacher I have had to counsel students. Under that logic I do not need to grade papers because school counselors do not grade papers.

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