Participation of the Vice President in the Affairs of the Executive Branch

Headnotes: 

There is no general bar, either of a constitutional or statutory nature, against the President’s transfer of duties to the Vice President; however, where, by the nature of the duty or by express constitutional or statutory delegation, the President must exercise individual judgment, the duty may not be transferred to anyone else.

In foreign relations, at the will and as the representative of the President, the Vice President may engage in activities ranging into the highest levels of diplomacy and negotiation and may do so anywhere in the world.

In matters of domestic administration, the nature and number of the Vice President’s executive duties are, as a practical matter, within the discretion of the President, with the recent and important exception of statutory membership on the National Security Council. Since the Vice President is not prevented either by the Constitution or by any general statute from acting as the President’s delegate, the range of transferrable duties would seem to be co-extensive with the scope of the President’s power of delegation.

Updated July 9, 2014