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Constitution

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The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson Sep 2020

The Permissibility Of Acting Officials: May The President Work Around Senate Confirmation?, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

Recent presidential reliance on acting agency officials, including an acting Attorney General, acting Secretaries of Defense, and an acting Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as numerous below-Cabinet officials, has drawn significant criticism from scholars, the media, and members of Congress. They worry that the President may be pursuing illegitimate goals and seeking to bypass the critical Senate role under the Appointments Clause. But Congress has authorized—and Presidents have called upon—such individuals from the early years of the Republic to the present. Meanwhile, neither formalist approaches to the constitutional issue, which seem to permit no flexibility, nor current Supreme Court …


Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson Jun 2019

Article Ii Vests Executive Power, Not The Royal Prerogative, Julian Davis Mortenson

Articles

Article II of the United States Constitution vests “the executive power” in the President. For more than two hundred years, advocates of presidential power have claimed that this phrase was originally understood to include a bundle of national security and foreign affairs authorities. Their efforts have been highly successful. Among constitutional originalists, this so-called “Vesting Clause Thesis” is now conventional wisdom. But it is also demonstrably wrong. Based on an exhaustive review of the eighteenth-century bookshelf, this Article shows that the ordinary meaning of “executive power” referred unambiguously to a single, discrete, and potent authority: the power to execute law. …


Taking Care Of Federal Law, Leah Litman Sep 2015

Taking Care Of Federal Law, Leah Litman

Articles

Article II of the Constitution vests the “executive power” in the President and directs the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But do these provisions mean that only the President may execute federal law? Two lines of Supreme Court precedent suggest conflicting answers to that question. In several prominent separation-of-powers cases, the Court has suggested that only the President may execute federal law: “The Constitution requires that a President chosen by the entire Nation oversee the execution of the laws.” Therefore, the Court has reasoned, Congress may not create private rights of action that allow nonexecutive …


Congress Underestimated: The Case Of The World Bank, Kristina Daugirdas Jan 2013

Congress Underestimated: The Case Of The World Bank, Kristina Daugirdas

Articles

This article challenges the oft-repeated claim that international organizations undermine democracy by marginalizing national legislatures. Over the past forty years, Congress has established itself as a key player in setting U.S. policy toward the World Bank. Congress has done far more than restrain executive branch action with which it disagrees; it has affirmatively shaped the United States’ day-to-day participation in this key international organization and successfully defended its constitutional authority to do so.


The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias Jan 2013

The President's Enforcement Power, Kate Andrias

Articles

Enforcement of law is at the core of the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care” that the laws are faithfully executed, and it is a primary mechanism for effecting national regulatory policy. Yet questions about how presidents oversee agency enforcement activity have received surprisingly little scholarly attention. This Article provides a positive account of the President’s role in administrative enforcement, explores why presidential enforcement has taken the shape it has, and examines the bounds of the President’s enforcement power. It demonstrates that presidential involvement in agency enforcement, though extensive, has been ad hoc, crisis-driven, and frequently opaque. The Article thus …


Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus Jan 2010

Constitutional Expectations, Richard A. Primus

Articles

The inauguration of Barack Obama was marred by one of the smallest constitutional crises in American history. As we all remember, the President did not quite recite his oath as it appears in the Constitution. The error bothered enough people that the White House redid the ceremony a day later, taking care to get the constitutional text exactly right. Or that, at least, is what everyone thinks happened. What actually happened is more interesting. The second time through, the President again departed from the Constitution's text. But the second time, nobody minded. Or even noticed. In that unremarked feature of …


Quick Off The Mark? In Favor Of Empowering The President-Elect, Nina A. Mendelson Jan 2009

Quick Off The Mark? In Favor Of Empowering The President-Elect, Nina A. Mendelson

Articles

The United States’s presidential transition period is too long. Between November 7, 2008, and January 20, 2009, the media quickly identified a “‘leadership vacuum.’” In contrast to those of President-elect Obama, President Bush’s approval ratings were at historic lows. One reporter commented in late November, “The markets, at least, seem to be listening to one [P]resident—and he’s not the one in the Oval Office,” and another noted that “everyone . . . ignores the actions of the lame duck.”


Some Modest Proposals On The Vice-Presidency, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1988

Some Modest Proposals On The Vice-Presidency, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

There are many good things in the Constitution, but the vice-presidency isn't one of them. In Part I of this essay, I will argue that there are three basic problems with the vice-presidency: the method of nomination, the method of election, and the office itself. That just about covers the waterfront.' If we had to do it all over again, we almost certainly would not" create the system we currently have. We cannot undo history, but we do have a very strong incentive to develop a better system of succession to the presidency. Whom we choose as vice-president is a …


The Method Of Electing The President, Thomas M. Cooley, Abram S. Hewitt Dec 1877

The Method Of Electing The President, Thomas M. Cooley, Abram S. Hewitt

Articles

Twice in the history of the United States the nation has been brought to the verge of civil war by difficulties growing out of presidential elections. And yet no system was ever devised with more care to preclude any reasonable complaint.


The Guarantee Of Order And Republican Government In The States, Thomas M. Cooley Dec 1874

The Guarantee Of Order And Republican Government In The States, Thomas M. Cooley

Articles

A short time ago, the whole country was plunged into a condition of anxiety and excitement by the conflicting claims to the executive authority in one of the States, and by the preparations made, and measures set on foot, to support them.