What is a Vice President's job, anyway?
This is a very helpful statement of where the Vice President is placed in our government.
What I wonder is can we save some money by cutting the budget for the VP, and would it be better for the country to return the VP to the prominence it had before Spiro Agnew?
Another insightful, well reasoned article. I find articles like this to be safe harbors in the anxiety driven storms of media hype. Would that there were more!
It’s interesting, and sad, that Luttig’s arguments appear to be personal and political rather than constitutional. I can’t find any executive tasks spelled out for the Vice President other than succeeding the President should it become necessary or participating in 25th amendment process of removing the President. Presiding over the Senate, on the other hand, is spelled out and is most definitely a legislative task, as is counting electoral votes during a joint session of Congress.
From what I had read of him in the past, and that was mainly from his former clerk Ted Cruz, Luttig was a staunch, conservative judge. Now I see that just last year he was flinging poo at Cruz that was on the level of Joe Scarborough or Rick Wilson.
Heinlein’s crazy years and TDS sure have exposed a lot of frauds.
The VP should no more act as an executive than any of these other positions in the White House that exist with neither Constitutional nor Statutory authority.
It strikes me after such Vice Presidential debacles as the Spiro Agnew resignation, the heavy Vice Presidential involvement in executive functions since Mondale, and the Biden (Big Guy) apparent involvement in influence peddling from the Vice President's office that the Vice President should concentrate his time on legislative and ceremonial duties while staying out of executive branch business. This would lessen the chance that he get involved in scandals that could compromise his role as successor to the president.
As a legal layperson, my first thought was ‘of course the VP is Executive Branch’, but after reading your article and taking a look at the Constitution, I’m inclined to agree with you. The Constitution names the office of the VP and gives him (her) a role in Article I, the section defining the Legislative branch. The Constitution names the office of the VP before it even gets to Article II which discusses the Executive branch.
While I think Glenn is doing God’s work with his blog and this Substack essay (to which I recently subscribed and everyone should do the same) I will make a modest objection for the sake of argument. When Glenn states that “… presiding over the Senate is surely a legislative function par excellence.” he begs the question.
A Vice president is unquestionably a “spare.” But if the Constitution does not specify that the Speaker of the House be a member (Article 1, Section 2) it’s possible that the President of the Senate shall not be a Senator, and therefore is not a legislator. After all, he has no vote unless the Senate is equally divided. In other words, the Vice Presidency is, for all practical purposes, a Constitutional spare, a baby in the womb waiting to be born. Neither fish not fowl nor good red meat.
Thanks for the Civics lesson, Glenn.
Interesting. A parallel question arises in the context of the funny idea bruited about a few months ago that there is no Constitutional requirement for the Speaker of the House to be a member, and the Republican majority could install Trump in that position (which would really make the order of succession...interesting...if Biden and Harris were successfully impeached). Presumably he would not even be casting votes, just moderating, and his legislative immunity would be even more questionable.
Glenn's argument is correct, but... "They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest..." You're being summoned in the matter of a felony Mr. Pence, so have a seat.
I don't care on which side of the aisle they park their ass, I'm getting tired of responsible parties claiming immunity because they're not responsible. If you don't have to answer to the American people, who do you answer to?