International Executive Agreements: Democratic Procedure under the Constitution of the United States

By Wallace McClure | Go to book overview

Chapter 10 THE PRESIDENT'S POWER TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE AGREEMENTS

THE CONCLUSIONS of law set forth in the previous chapters of this Part of the present volume, particularly the one immediately preceding, may, it is believed, be relied upon to sustain the validity of the President's acts of agreement with other countries put into force without utilizing the procedure of the treaty-making power. The wide range of his activities indicating general control over international relations; the numerous specific examples, such as negotiation, maintenance of neutrality, determination of the question of recognition of other states members of the family of nations, with consequent interchange of diplomatic representatives, termination of diplomatic relations and of international acts, command of the Army and Navy and diplomatic and consular service, and enforcement of treaty obligations and obligations under international law, and, climactically, his position as the possessor of the executive power seem, quite apart from his historical record and approving judicial decisions, to prove irresistibly that the Constitution confers upon him plenary authority to make executive agreements. Sweeping decisions of the Supreme Court affirming the existence of this constitutional prerogative appear definitely to close the case and leave him secure in the exercise thereof as an essential element of his power as' constitutional Executive and as the constitutional possessor of specific powers the performance of the duties accompanying which are naturally fulfilled through arrangements with other countries. In the absence of specific exceptions regarding the utilization of this authority, it must be assumed to be unlimited save only where it may overlap and be in conflict with other constitutional functions. Only in such eventuality, with consequent demand for reconciliation between constitutional authorizations, is there apparent any opportunity for qualifying the all- inclusiveness of the executive-agreement making power.

-330-

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