Smith, a supporter
of the theory that executive officers should be removed only by impeachment, defends
his interpretation in this letter to Rutledge, who disagreed with him. He contends
that "my desire to guard the Constitution from the dangers of legislative constructions,
animated me with a peculiar warmth of opposition," and that giving the removal power
to the president alone would promote monarchy. Smith's first concern reflected his
fear as a South Carolinian that legislative construction could lead Congress to
interfere with the institution of slavery.