The President and Vice-President are the only federal executive officers for whose selection and. functions the Constitution makes direct provision, unless, indeed, one includes the Senate to which is intrusted participation in the executive functions of appointments and approval of treaties. That certain great executive departments should be legislatively established was taken for granted, as shown, for example, in the provision that the President "may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officers in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices;" and that the appointment of inferior officers may be by Congress vested in the "Heads of Departments."1 From time to time these great executive departments, as well as certain "commissions" and other executive bodies not falling within any one of the "departments," have been created. The description of the organization and functions of these bodies does not fall within the scope of a treatise on constitutional law. We shall be concerned, however, with the manner in which all these executive agencies are integrated into one great system with the President at its head and with the extent of the directive power which the President may exercise over the civil and military service, and which the higher executive officials may exercise over their subordinates.
In the present chapter will be considered the qualification for the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency, and the constitutional provisions governing the selection of persons to fill these offices.