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Presidential Power

Words Matter: The Dueling Syrian War Powers Resolutions

Alan B. Morrison | Posted 11.06.2013 | Politics
Alan B. Morrison

There was a serious problem with the draft Resolution that the President sent to Congress: it was a virtual blank check that he should have known Congress would never approve.

Trash-Talking America

William E. White | Posted 05.26.2013 | Politics
William E. White

If we ever hope to sponsor a productive debate in this country, we will have to spend as much time listening as we do talking. Grandstanding, posturing, and trash-talking the country is not helping.

Presidential Appointments Shouldn't Require Senate Approval

Scott Blakeman | Posted 03.15.2013 | Politics
Scott Blakeman

Presidential appointments, from cabinet secretaries to department heads to judges, should not require the "advice and consent" of the increasingly partisan and obstructionist Senate.

How Presidential War Came Out of the Shadows -- and We Went Into Them

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 01.08.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

In the last decade a high-tech, privatized, covert version of war has become presidential property, fought at the White House's behest by robots, warrior corporations, and two presidentially controlled "private" forces.

Does the Buck Stop With the President?

Anthony Gregory | Posted 11.06.2012 | Politics
Anthony Gregory

Liberals often insist that the president cannot be blamed for current trends they dislike. Yet in most areas where Obama's defenders attempt to pass the buck, the president enjoys wide latitude.

Why We've Learned Nothing From Watergate

Robert J. Spitzer | Posted 08.20.2012 | Politics
Robert J. Spitzer

The country needs and wants strong presidents, but the Constitution and law exist to limit abuse of power -- a standard that must continue to apply to our chief executives.

Obama, Gay Rights and the Abrahamic Law of Politics

Saladin Ambar | Posted 08.06.2012 | College
Saladin Ambar

When the people force events to overrun a president, we create the possibility for him (and someday for her) to reinvent the very idea of what we are as a country. Here's to forcing a hand willing to be forced.

Does The President Really Matter?

Posted 04.26.2012 | Business

As Mitt Romney and President Obama begin the battle in earnest for the White House, they're touting their ability to do everything from fix the econom...

The GOP and Presidential Power

Robert J. Spitzer | Posted 03.04.2012 | Politics
Robert J. Spitzer

As we begin the countdown to the November elections, let's appreciate how much American governance has become a debate over presidential power -- from health care, to the economy, to foreign policy.

Unleashing "Senator" Biden: What Happened to Judicial Appointments, the War Powers Resolution?

Peter M. Shane | Posted 07.31.2011 | Politics
Peter M. Shane

The Administration has nominated candidates for only 10 of 16 vacancies on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and 38 candidates for 72 vacancies in the District Courts. Why not give the Vice President a bigger role?

Obama, War Powers, and Yoo

Robert J. Spitzer | Posted 05.28.2011 | Politics
Robert J. Spitzer

Yoo's chief problem as a constitutional commentator is that his underlying constitutional analysis of presidential power is literally the opposite of what the Founders intended and wrote.

Libyan Invasion as Further Expansion of Obama's Executive Power

Rob Kall | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Rob Kall

The Obama White house says the adventure in Libya is not a war. Well over 100 cruise missiles have been shot into Libya. We've established a no-fly zone -- an act of war.

Power to the Congress

Craig Barnes | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Craig Barnes

The president has met with Republicans and put together a tax deal that was, he said, the best he could get from them. Despite the outraged cries of liberal democrats, this may actually be a very good thing.

The Power of the President

Mike Lux | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Mike Lux

Progressives need to spend less time commiserating over all the good things that Congress should do but won't, and more time thinking about the things Obama could do if he aggressively seized the reins of government.

Presidential Powers: Prudence or Perversion? Playing Jeopardy

Coleen Rowley | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Coleen Rowley

If we're playing Jeopardy, and we are, this would be the answer: It's the real no-brainer answer to the legal and ethical questions posed by the ...

"Bomb Power," or How the Atomic Bomb Ended a War, Increased Presidential Power and Eroded the Constitution

Tom Alderman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Tom Alderman

While the bomb ended World War II, it also started a chain reaction that exploded into America's permanent secret security state -- with emphasis on the word 'permanent.'

Health Care Reform Testing Obama's Power Of Persuasion

The New York Times | Sheryl Gay Stolberg | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics

Tempers were fraying in the White House Cabinet Room as night turned into morning on Jan. 15. President Obama had been cloistered nearly all day with ...

Can the President Override Any Law He Wants?

Ira Glasser | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Ira Glasser

Can the President of the United States override any domestic law as well as any international law as a consequence of his war powers under the Constitution?

'Shadow Elite': War And The Deadly Privatization Of Public Power

Lawrence B. Wilkerson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Lawrence B. Wilkerson

Killing people for state purposes should be the ultimate public power in a democratic federal republic such as ours. Yet war's privatization proceeds at an alarming pace.

Presidential Power Grows: Will You Love Every Future President?

David Swanson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
David Swanson

Some of the powers that Bush and Cheney stole from Congress, the courts, and the states are being abused less severely under Obama; others, more so; but far more crucially, all are being maintained.

A 'Must Read' for the Book Czar

William Fisher | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
William Fisher

Ambitious assertions of presidential power are the logical outcome of a decades-long trend that started with Reagan and culminated under the "unitary executive" doctrine embraced by the George W. Bush administration.

The Rise of American Czarism

David Sirota | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
David Sirota

Presidents almost always usurp power. And while Obama will hopefully usurp it less, the move towards American Czarism will no doubt continue to imperil our democracy.

Conservative Lawyers Defend Holder (and the Unitary Executive)

Doug Kendall | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Doug Kendall

The letter in defense of Eric Holder is a classic articulation of the idea that the President is a unitary executive. It also happens to be essentially right.

As Congress Lay Dying

David Swanson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
David Swanson

The only possible path to truly transformative democratic change lies in re-empowering and reforming Congress.

One Interview, Two Gaffes

Mark Kleiman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Mark Kleiman

John McCain gave an interview to Newsweek and flip flopped twice, which may be a single-interview record.