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The executive unbound : after the Madisonian republic

Author: Eric A Posner; Adrian Vermeule
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"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?
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Eric A Posner; Adrian Vermeule
ISBN: 9780199765331 0199765332 9780199830466 0199830460
OCLC Number: 640132509
Description: 249 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The constitutional framework --
Constitutional change --
The statutory framework --
Constraints on the executive --
Global liberal legalism --
Tyrannophobia.
Responsibility: Eric A. Posner, Adrian Vermeule.
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Abstract:

"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 of the Constitution. But Posner and Vermeule closely examine James Madison's writings, and find fault with his premises. Like an ideal market, they write, Madison's separation of powers has no central director, but it lacks the price system which gives an economy its structure; there is nothing in 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, noting that among strong presidents only Nixon has come in for severe criticism, leading to legislation which was designed to limit the presidency, yet which failed to do so. 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."--pub. desc.

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"A refreshingly straightforward case that the modern presidency is unconstrained by law--and that you should like it that way. Even those who...disagree vehemently with the latter proposition will Read more...

 
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