10
Jan
2006

Imperial presidency, constitutional quicksand

Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

01/09/06

After revelations about President Bush ordering surveillance of Americans without obtaining warrants, the boundaries of executive power will undoubtedly be one of the principal issues raised at the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. The conservative Alito has publicly endorsed the theory of the unitary executive, which takes a broad view of presidential authority. Alito's liberal critics say his record has been too obsequious to expanded executive power. The position of these two camps seems peculiar. Many of today's conservatives, such as Alito, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Cheney's chief of staff David Addington, believe that the presidency is not muscular enough. In fact, the vice president, contrary to most scholarship on the issue, feels that, in recent decades, the executive branch has been emasculated. Yet conservatives also tout their custodianship of the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. The nation's founders would turn over in their graves if they were to learn of the modern imperial presidency...

//www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1651


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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