Since 1981, when Joseph M. Bessette and Jeffrey K. Tulis first published The Presidency in the Constitutional Order, the study of the constitutional powers of the presidency has advanced considerably. Bessette and Tulis continue the conversation almost 30 years later, presenting original research on the most significant issues regarding presidential power and the Constitution.
After introducing and identifying the main approaches to the study of the constitutional presidency and the nature of executive power, Bessette and Tulis, along with other constitutional scholars, cover a wide range of topics. These include the logic and meaning of Article II of the Constitution; the constitutional and political debate over Washington’s Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793; the contribution of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft to the constitutional foundations of the modern presidency; the controversy over the presidential election of 2000 and the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore; military tribunals and the war on terrorism; executive orders; growing presidential influence over the budgeting process; executive privilege; impeachment; and demagoguery in democratic regimes.
The book conjoins political and legal modes of analysis and shows how constitutional interpretation is indispensable to an adequate description of political behavior and serves as the source of standards for evaluating presidential conduct. The contributors offer new and distinctive arguments, especially in light of the renewed debate over executive power during the George W. Bush administration.
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