Despite this obvious original intention to confine the duties of the President mainly to the political field, the President has in practice become the head of the federal administrative system.8 This has been due to two causes. In the first place the President's power of removal from office, a power which he may exercise at will, has easily enabled him to obtain administrative action even when he has not had legal power directly to command it. This was clearly shown in the episode of the removal of the bank deposits by Jackson. In the second place, the practical necessities of efficient government have compelled Congress to place in the President's hand powers of administrative discretion, and have inclined the courts to uphold his orders whenever it has been possible to do so.9
Even where the President has not the power to command, he has the constitutional right to " require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices." 10
Acting under his constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, the President may take such steps as are necessary and the laws permit, to compel the proper performance of their respective duties by federal agents generally. This duty does not, however, make the President responsible for every act committed by a subordinate administrative official, nor, even where a duty is expressly laid upon him by the Constitution or by statute, is it necessary, or humanly possible, for him, in every case, to perform the duty in person.11
8 Not only this, but he has become the chief of his political party. For an account of the forces and manner by and in which this has been brought about see Macy, Party Organisation and Machinery in the United States; and Ford, Rise and Growth of American Politics.
10 U. S. Const., Art. II, Sec. II, § 1.