bel at this suggestion, and allege that the interference of the
President with slavery, in his proclamation and amnesty, is
both unconstitutional and unwise.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATIONS AS
TO SLAVERY AND AMNESTY.
The charge as to the unconstitutionality of tnese measures
I propose here to examine. It resolves itself into the question
which we have just been discussing in part, whether the na¬
tion, through its chief executive magistrate, has power to
dictate terms of peace to rebels ? He either has this power,
or there is some precise limitation of it, which his act trans¬
cends. If the latter be the case, what is the limit to such
power, and by whom is it to be exercised ?
Congress has the power to control the acts of the President
in most matters relating to war, and measures to enforce the
laws of the United States, and to suppress insurrections and
invasions. But, until such action of Congress, the measures
of the President, within the scope of his war powers as chief
executive officer of the government, and as commander-in-
chief of the army and navy, are valid. Within such scope,
which has a wide limit, all his acts are discretionary.
In addition, he has an unlimited power to grant reprieves
and pardons for all offences against the United States, except
in cases of impeachment. In time of foreign war, he may
make a truce or armistice at his pleasure, and a peace, subject
to the approval of the Senate. In case of rebellion, it is his
duty to persist in measures, for its suppression until it is ter¬
minated ; of which termination he alone is to be the judge,
unless Congress interfere by its supervisory power over him.
It is an exercise of judgment which no judicial authority has
a right to reverse or declare unconstitutional. So long as
Congress does not assume the control of such measures, the
acts of the President are to be regarded as sound and just;
or, if they are otherwise, the only proper remedy is by im¬
Subject to these limitations and restrictions, had the Presi-