The Modern Presidency

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Leading Constitutional theorists, such as John Rohr, would argue that the Framers of the Constitution of the United States wanted to ensure that presidential power would be properly checked by the other two powers but particularly the legislative. As per Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which specifically provides that “… Congress shall provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States … and have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own Powers but also all other Powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof” (U.S. Constitution, 1791). However, in more recent times, United States’ presidents, particularly George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have been accused of overstepping their executive authority.

For this, consider the last two or three administrations. Has the power of the President extended so far that it has tipped the scales in favor of executive powers, relative to legislative or judicial power? Is this a phenomenological consequence of a post-9/11 world? Or have the expectations of the President as commander in chief of the world’s most powerful nation changed since Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer?

Post examples of contemporary administrations allegedly overstepping executive authority, and explain how. Explain one domestic implication and one international implication of this overreach of executive authority. Also, explain how other branches act to restrain executive overreach.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Readings.

Readings

  • Shafritz, J. M., Lane, K. S., & Borick, C. P. (Eds.). (2005). Classics of public policy. New York, NY: Pearson Education.
    • Chapter 7, “Policy Implementation by the Executive”
      • Presidential Power: The Power to Persuade (1959) (pp. 230–233)
      • The Two Presidencies (1966) (pp. 234–247)
  • Deering, C. J., & Maltzman, F. (1999). The politics of executive orders: Legislative constraints on presidential power. Political Research Quarterly, 52(4), 767–783. doi: 10.1177/106591299905200405
  • Howell, W. G. (2011). Presidential power in war. Annual Review of Political Science, 14 (1), 89–105. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-040609-155927
  • Jost, K. (2006, February 24). Presidential power: Is Bush overstepping his executive authority? CQ Researcher, 16(8), 169–192.
  • Silverstein, G. (2009). The law: Bush, Cheney, and the separation of powers: A lasting legal legacy? Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39(4), 878–895. doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03712.x
  • The Avalon Project. (2008). War powers resolution: Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the President. Retrieved from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/warpower.asp

Thank you.

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