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State and Local Government Law

2021

Journal

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Presidents

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower Jun 2021

Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Presidents have a wide array of tools at their disposal to unilaterally influence public policy, without the direct approval of Congress or the courts. These unilateral actions have the potential to affect a variety of individual rights, either profitably or adversely. Governors too can employ unilateral directives for similar purposes, often impacting an even wider range of rights. In this Article, we collect all executive orders and memoranda related to individual rights issued between 1981 and 2018 at the federal level, and across the U.S. states, to analyze their use over time. We find that chief executives of all kinds …