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Interring The Unitary Executive, Christine Chabot Jan 2022

Interring The Unitary Executive, Christine Chabot

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The President's power to remove and control subordinate executive officers has sparked a constitutional debate that began in 1789 and rages on today. Leading originalists claim that the Constitution created a “unitary executive” President whose plenary removal power affords her “exclusive control” over subordinates' exercise of executive power. Text assigning the President a removal power and exclusive control appears nowhere in the Constitution, however, and unitary scholars have instead relied on select historical understandings and negative inferences drawn from a supposed lack of independent regulatory structures at the Founding. The comprehensive historical record introduced by this Article lays this debate …