By John Yoo
An American President faces battle and unearths himself hamstrung by means of a Congress that may not act. to guard nationwide safeguard, he invokes his powers as Commander-in-Chief and orders activities that appear to violate legislation enacted by way of Congress. he's excoriated for usurping dictatorial powers, putting himself above the legislation, and perilous to "breakdown constitutional safeguards." you will be forgiven for pondering that the above describes former President George W. Bush. but those specific assaults on presidential strength have been leveled opposed to Franklin D. Roosevelt. they can simply besides describe comparable assaults leveled opposed to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and several presidents challenged with prime the kingdom via instances of nationwide quandary. in spite of the fact that sour, complicated, and pressing state-of-the-art controversies over govt energy could be, John Yoo reminds us they're not anything new. In concern and Command, he explores an element too little consulted in present debates: the earlier. via sensible and lucid research, he exhibits how the daring judgements made via Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and FDR replaced greater than simply historical past; additionally they reworked the position of the yankee president. The hyperlink among the lively workout of government energy and presidential greatness, Yoo argues, is either major and misunderstood. He makes the case that the founding fathers intentionally left the structure obscure at the limits of presidential authority, drawing on background to illustrate the benefi ts to the country of a powerful government workplace.
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Extra info for Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush
This book explores a factor seldom consulted in debates over executive power today: history. A single volume cannot comprehensively examine the growth of executive power throughout our Constitution's 220 years, but it can deepen our understanding. I trace the genealogy of today's controversies back to the nation's first chief executive, George Washington, then describe how Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt used the powers of their office in times of crisis.
The people, not the assembly, elected him, and there was no limit on the number of three-year terms he could serve. "39 The first governor, George Clinton, won such success with these powers that the state returned him to office for 18 consecutive years, despite the British occupation. Clinton, wrote fellow New Yorker Gouverneur Morris, could not have been more suited to an office of such potential. "40 New York's definition of what fell within the executive power remained fairly unexceptional.
Unlike the royal prerogative, the executive's authority had to be exercised in the public interest and for the common good. The existence of such power still raised the "old question" of how to resolve conflicts between emergency power and the standing laws. To Locke, there were no preexisting answers to this problem, and there was "no judge on earth" who could resolve it. Defining the executive prerogative's full scope beforehand would be simply impossible. Montesquieu reinforced Locke's ideas with a unique twist.