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The Take Care Act: Removing Restrictions from the President’s Removal Power

While the Constitution is silent on the President’s removal power, the First Congress concluded that Article II’s vesting of executive power necessarily meant that the President must have plenary authority to remove executive branch officers. As James Madison asserted, “If the Constitution has invested all executive power in the President… the Legislature has no right to diminish or modify his executive authority.” Unfortunately, the modern administrative state has continued to give rise to a “headless” fourth branch of government that exerts immense control over vast swaths of American life. The power to remove subordinates is the key means by which the President can direct how executive authority is exercised. Without it, he is in many instances powerless to ensure faithful execution of the laws. A new bill, The Take Care Act, introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), aims to address this problem. It will eliminate all existing restrictions on the President’s power to remove upper-level executive branch officers, and fully restore the original understanding of the President’s power to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. Join us for an address by the Senator, as he unveils this important new legislation.

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