Dick Cheney Rewrites The Constitutionby Doug Mataconis
Vice-President Cheney’s office is asserting that the Vice-President is not part of the Executive Branch:
For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his officeâ€™s handling of classified information, and when the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch objected, the vice presidentâ€™s office suggested abolishing the oversight unit, according to documents released yesterday by a Democratic congressman.
[O]fficials familiar with Mr. Cheneyâ€™s view said that he and his legal adviser, David S. Addington, did not believe that the executive order applied to the vice presidentâ€™s office because it had a legislative as well as an executive status in the Constitution. Other White House offices, including the National Security Council, routinely comply with the oversight requirements, according to Mr. Waxmanâ€™s office and outside experts.
Mr. Addington stated in conversations that the vice presidentâ€™s office was not an â€œentity within the executive branchâ€ because, under the Constitution, the vice president also plays a role in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate, able to cast a vote in the event of a tie.
Last time I checked, the Vice-Presidency was created under Article II of the Constitution, just like the Presidency. That, notwithstanding the fact that the Vice-President does sit as President of the Senate, would seem to clearly make it part of the Executive Branch. Unless you agree with Dick Cheney, in which case it’s part of the Super-Secret Branch.