Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times

Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times

by Scott M. Matheson Jr.
     
 

ISBN-10: 067403161X

ISBN-13: 9780674031616

Pub. Date: 02/15/2009

Publisher: Harvard

From the Constitution’s adoption, presidents, Congress, judges, scholars, the press, and the public have debated the appropriate scope of presidential power during a crisis, especially when presidents see bending or breaking the rules as necessary to protect the country from serious, even irreparable, harm.

Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous

Overview

From the Constitution’s adoption, presidents, Congress, judges, scholars, the press, and the public have debated the appropriate scope of presidential power during a crisis, especially when presidents see bending or breaking the rules as necessary to protect the country from serious, even irreparable, harm.

Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times examines this quandary, from Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson’s enforcement of the Espionage Act of 1917 during World War I, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s evacuation and internment of West Coast Japanese during World War II, Harry S. Truman’s seizure of the steel mills during the Korean War to George W. Bush’s torture, surveillance, and detention programs following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Presidents have exercised extraordinary power to protect the nation in ways that raised serious constitutional concerns about individual liberties and separation of powers. By looking at these examples through different constitutional perspectives, Scott Matheson achieves a deeper understanding of wartime presidential power in general and of President Bush’s assertions of executive power in particular. America can function more effectively as a constitutional democracy in an unsafe world, he argues, if our leaders embrace an approach to presidential power that he calls executive constitutionalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674031616
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
02/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • 1. Presidential Power and Constitutionalism
  • Constitutionalism and Executive Power
  • Dynamic Variables in Emergency Constitutionalism
  • Emergencies and Constitutional Perspectives

  • 2. Presidents and Constitutionalism
  • President Lincoln: “Popular demand and public necessity”
  • President Wilson: “if there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with with a firm hand of stern repression”
  • President Roosevelt: “every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage”
  • President Truman: “Within the aggregate of his constitutional powers”

  • 3. President Bush and Constitutionalism
  • Torture
  • Surveillance
  • Detention

  • Conclusion: A Call for Executive Constitutionalism
  • Presidential Power Claims and Constitutional Perspectives
  • Executive Constitutionalism
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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