Federalist No. 76

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Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. 76

Federalist No. 76 is an essay by Alexander Hamilton and the seventy-sixth of The Federalist Papers.[1] It was published on April 1, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all The Federalist Papers were published.[2] The title is, The Appointing Power of the Executive, and is the tenth in a series of 11 essays discussing the powers and limitations of the Executive branch.[2]

Summary[edit]

Publius begins this essay by quoting the Appointments Clause of the proposed United States Constitution.[3] Publius then states that "it is not easy to conceive a plan better calculated than this" and explains why he believes that is so.[3] He explains that the power of appointment can only be modified in one of three ways: vested in a single man, in a "select assembly of a moderate number," or in a single man with concurrence by an assembly.[4]

First, he explains that such power vested in a single man would make him sway to personal inclinations and attachments.[5] Thus, this was not the best option.[5] Second, he explains that power vested in an assembly would make the group prone to compromise, where one's personal inclination for one appointment would lead him to compromise on another in the hope that others will do the same for his.[6] Again, this would not work very well.[7]

The only possible option left was to place the Appointment power with the President, by and with the consent of the Senate.[8] According to Publius, this arrangement would ensure that the nominated candidate's qualifications were taken into account by the Senate and fully considered before the appointment was completed.[8]

Publius concludes by explaining that the Constitution was written to provide important safeguards to ensure against tyranny.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hamilton, Alexander. "Federalist No. 76". The Avalon Project. Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale University. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hamilton, Alexander. "Federalist No. 76". The Federalist Papers. Library of Congress. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. p. 453. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  4. ^ The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. pp. 453–454. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  5. ^ a b The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. p. 454. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  6. ^ The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. pp. 454–455. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  7. ^ The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. p. 455. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  8. ^ a b The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. pp. 455–456. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 
  9. ^ The Federalist Papers. New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Books. 1999. p. 457. ISBN 0-451-52881-6. 

External links[edit]

The Avalon Project, Yale University

Library of Congress