Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President / Edition 5

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Nearly three decades after its initial publication, Louis Fisher's durable classic remains at the head of its class-a book that Congressional Quarterly called "as close to being indispensable as anything published in this field." This newly revised and updated fifth edition emphatically reinforces that sterling reputation.

Fisher dissects the crucial constitutional disputes between the executive and legislative branches of government from the Constitutional Convention through President Clinton's impeachment battles to the recent controversies over President Bush's conduct as commander in chief. He ventures beyond traditional discussions of Supreme Court decisions to examine the day-to-day working relationships between the president and Congress.

By analyzing a mixture of judicial pronouncements, executive acts, and legislative debates, Fisher pinpoints the critical areas of legislative-executive tension: appointment powers, investigatory powers, legislative and executive vetoes, the budgetary process, and war powers. He then examines these areas of tension within a concrete political and historical context.

To scholars, this book offers a comprehensive examination of the institutions and issues of public law. For practitioners, general readers, and students of American government, it demonstrates how constitutional issues shape and define current events.

A book that pinpoints the tension between the Congress and the President as it has worked out in history.

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Editorial Reviews

The preeminent treatise on the separation of powers, Fisher's book is constitutional scholarship at its best.
In this extensively revised edition of his classic study (originally published in 1978), Fisher examines this complex relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government from the Constitutional Convention through the beginning of the Bush administration, venturing beyond traditional discussions of Supreme Court decisions to examine the day-to-day working relationships between the president and Congress. Paper edition (unseen), $14.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700615346
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 7/24/2007
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis Fisher is a senior scholar in the Law Library at the Library of Congress and author of more than a dozen books, including Presidential War Power, In the Name of National Security, and Military Tribunals and Presidential Power, winner of the Richard E. Neustadt Award.
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Table of Contents

Note on Citations
1 Constitutional Struggles 1
The Elements of Constitutionalism 1
The Doctrine of Separated Powers 6
Implied Powers 14
Custom and Acquiescence 18
2 Appointment Powers 22
Basic Principles 22
The Power to Nominate 26
Senate Advice and Consent 32
Recess Appointments 38
Temporary Appointments 46
3 Theory in a Crucible: The Removal Power 49
The "Decision of 1789" 50
Controversies from Jackson to Cleveland 54
Court Interpretations: 1789 to 1926 57
The Myers Case and Its Progeny 60
Disloyalty Dismissals and Procedural Safeguards 66
Removal Actions from Nixon to Bush 72
Clinton's Travelgate 77
The Congressional Presence 83
4 Legislative Powers 87
Delegation 88
Checks on Delegated Power 98
Nonstatutory Controls 103
Administrative Legislation 106
5 Vetoes: Presidential and Legislative 119
The Presidential Veto 119
Pocket Vetoes 128
The Item Veto 132
The Legislative Veto 141
Chadha and Beyond 152
6 Power over Knowledge: Seeking and Withholding Information 160
Congressional Investigations 160
The Speech or Debate Clause 172
Presidential Immunity 175
Impeachment 177
Executive Privilege 181
7 The Power of the Purse 196
Constitutional Limitations 196
Presidential Responsibility for Estimates 199
Congressional Revision of Estimates 201
The Budget Act of 1974 207
Secret Spending 212
Combining Purse and Sword: The Iran-Contra Affair 219
8 Treaties and Executive Agreements 225
Treaties 225
The Role of the House 234
Treaty Termination 242
Treaty Reinterpretation 245
Executive Agreements 248
9 The War Power 256
Commander in Chief 256
Executive Prerogative 259
Life-and-Property Actions 266
Delegated Emergency Powers 271
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 274
The Politics of Comity 292
10 Conclusions 295
Appendix. The Constitution of the United States of America (Selections) 305
Suggested Readings 315
Index of Cases 325
Subject Index 333
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