The Right of Reception: Scope of the Power

“Ambassadors and other public ministers” embraces not only “all possible diplomatic agents which any foreign power may accredit to the United States,”655 but also, as a practical construction of the Constitution, all foreign consular agents, who therefore may not exercise their functions in the United States without an exequatur from the President.656 The power to “receive” ambassadors, et cetera, includes, moreover, the right to refuse to receive them, to request their recall, to dismiss them, and to determine their eligibility under our laws.657 Furthermore, this power makes the President the sole mouthpiece of the nation in its dealing with other nations.


7 Ops. Atty. Gen. 186, 209 (1855). [Back to text]
5 J. MOORE, INTERNATIONAL LAW DIGEST 15–19 (1906). [Back to text]
Id. at 4:473–548; 5:19–32. [Back to text]