The answer, according to legal scholars Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, is nothing. In The Executive Unbound, they provide a bracing challenge to conventional wisdom, arguing that a strong presidency is inevitable in the modern world.
Author: Eric A. Posner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Ever since Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. used "imperial presidency" as a book title, the term has become central to the debate about the balance of power in the U.S. government. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, when advocates of executive power such as Dick Cheney gained ascendancy, the argument has blazed hotter than ever. Many argue the Constitution itself is in grave danger. What is to be done? The answer, according to legal scholars Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, is nothing. In The Executive Unbound, they provide a bracing challenge to conventional wisdom, arguing that a strong presidency is inevitable in the modern world. Most scholars, they note, object to today's level of executive power because it varies so dramatically from the vision of the framers. But there is nothing in our system of checks and balances that intrinsically generates order or promotes positive arrangements. In fact, the greater complexity of the modern world produces a concentration of power, particularly in the White House. The authors chart the rise of executive authority straight through to the Obama presidency. Political, cultural and social restraints, they argue, have been more effective in preventing dictatorship than any law. The executive-centered state tends to generate political checks that substitute for the legal checks of the Madisonian constitution.
Eric A. Posner & Adrian Vermeule, The Executive Unbound (2010). In contrast to
Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, who describe a pervasive and powerful
Executive largely unconstrained by legal requirement, we think it clear from our ...
Author: Adam Cox
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
"On February 15, 2019, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency at America's southern border. He depicted a dire crisis, with criminals and drugs flowing unchecked into the country, unlawful border crossers overwhelming enforcement capacity, and dangerous immigrants disappearing into the nation's interior after being released from detention. With his presidential proclamation, he ordered the military to assist in hardening the border, and he declared his intent to re-direct billions of dollars to build the wall he had promised since he first announced his candidacy. In a striking rebuke, Congress voted to overturn the President's declaration of emergency. Never before had Congress rejected a president's proclamation under the National Emergencies Act. Some members decried the President's move as an unlawful usurpation of Congress's power of the purse. Congress had just rejected the administration's request for funds to build a border wall. In trying nonetheless to re-allocate military funding to the project, critics contended, the President displayed contempt for Congress's constitutional authority to appropriate federal dollars. Many representatives argued further that the President had manufactured the crisis, emphasizing that adding an exceedingly expensive wall to already ample enforcement would not address the real problems at the border. Illegal crossings, they noted, had been declining for over a decade and were at historic lows during the President's first two years in office. The types of migrants now arriving at the border presented urgent legal and policy concerns, but not the threat the President imagined. They were families fleeing violence in Central America. They often sought out border patrol agents at ports of entry in order to request asylum, rather than cross through the desert to evade apprehension. A new wall would not stop them. President Trump promptly issued the very first veto of his administration and attempted to press forward with his plans. His clash with Congress was partly about partisan disagreement. It reflected the deep gulf that now separates the Democratic and Republican parties on immigration policy. But even the Republican-controlled Senate voted to reject the President's emergency declaration. "The Senate vote," the Washington Post remarked the following day, "stood as a rare instance of Republicans breaking with Trump in significant numbers on an issue central to his presidency." It remains to be seen whether the President or Congress will emerge with the upper hand; as we go to press, the funding fight remains tied up in the courts. But the unfolding conflict has transcended partisanship, pitting Congress against the Executive in a battle for control of immigration policy"--
In other words, the boundaries of executive power are constantly being
negotiated. Given this book's concerns, IA leaders would do well to ... 7Posner
and Vermeule, Executive Unbound. 8Drawing on the Basic Law's “democracy
clause,” the ...
Author: Paul Tucker
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Guiding principles for ensuring that central bankers and other unelected policymakers remain stewards of the common good Central bankers have emerged from the financial crisis as the third great pillar of unelected power alongside the judiciary and the military. They pull the regulatory and financial levers of our economic well-being, yet unlike democratically elected leaders, their power does not come directly from the people. Unelected Power lays out the principles needed to ensure that central bankers, technocrats, regulators, and other agents of the administrative state remain stewards of the common good and do not become overmighty citizens. Paul Tucker draws on a wealth of personal experience from his many years in domestic and international policymaking to tackle the big issues raised by unelected power, and enriches his discussion with examples from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union. Blending economics, political theory, and public law, Tucker explores the necessary conditions for delegated but politically insulated power to be legitimate in the eyes of constitutional democracy and the rule of law. He explains why the solution must fit with how real-world government is structured, and why technocrats and their political overseers need incentives to make the system work as intended. Tucker explains how the regulatory state need not be a fourth branch of government free to steer by its own lights, and how central bankers can emulate the best of judicial self-restraint and become models of dispersed power. Like it or not, unelected power has become a hallmark of modern government. This critically important book shows how to harness it to the people's purposes.
98 Posner and Vermeule , The Executive Unbound , 120 . 99Bruce Ackerman ,
The Decline and Fall of the American Republic ( Cambridge , MA : Belknap Press
of Harvard University Press , 2010 ) . 100Doyle McManus , “ New Law Is Urged ...
Vols. 4-38, 40-41 include Record of political events, Oct. 1, 1888-Dec. 31, 1925 (issued as a separately paged supplement to no. 3 of v. 31-38 and to no. 1 of v. 40)