Sunday, January 21, 2018

How independent are presidential appointees?

There is indeed a difference between "resigning" as I incorrectly quoted Mr Reginald Dumas and "offering to resign", which was his suggestion. My apologies to Reggie.

Where appointments are personal to the appointer as with all US President Barack Obama's appointments, or with our Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar's ministerial and ambassadorial appointees, "offering to resign" is appropriate to provide "the opportunity to exercise his/her judgment".

Independent senators are however not accountable to the President or anyone else; once appointed, they are as independent as a judge and would not be truly "independent" if they had to please the present or a future president.

In my view, Independent senators derive their position from the "Office of President" and not from the office-holder. For "Independent senators to offer their resignations to the new president to give him the opportunity to exercise his judgment", as proposed by Mr Dumas, is personalising the status of Independent senators.

Are Independent senators appointed by the Office of President or by the man or woman holding office?

Michael J Williams

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