During his first term in office, Pres. George W. Bush made reference to the "unitary executive" ninety-five times, as part of signing statements, proclamations, and executive orders. Pres. Barack Obama's actions continue to make issues of executive power as timely as ever.
Unitary executive theory stems from interpretation of the constitutional assertion that the president is vested with the "executive power" of the United States. In this groundbreaking collection of studies, eleven presidential scholars examine for the first time the origins, development, use, and future of this theory.
The Unitary Executive and the Modern Presidency examines how the unitary executive theory became a recognized constitutional theory of presidential authority, how it has evolved, how it has been employed by presidents of both parties, and how its use has affected and been affected by U.S. politics. This book also examines the constitutional, political, and even psychological impact of the last thirty years of turmoil in the executive branch and the ways that controversy has altered both the exercise and the public’s view of presidential power.
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Ryan J. Barilleaux is professor of political science at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is the author or editor of seven other books on the presidency and American politics, including Power and Prudence: The Presidency of George H. W. Bush (with Mark Rozell, Texas A&M University Press, 2004). He served previously on the staff of the U.S. Senate. Christopher S. Kelley is an adjunct assistant professor of political science at Miami University. His research on presidential signing statements has been widely cited by scholars, government officials, and journalists.Review:
"This book is a necessary and needed antidote to the confusion over the unitary executive. Its wide-ranging and fair-minded essays offer, for the first time, a balanced and nuanced exploration of this controversial theory of executive power. No student of the presidency should be without it."--Robert Spitzer, distinguished service professor of political science, SUNY Cortland, and author, Saving the Constitution from Lawyers (Robert Spitzer SUNY Cortland)
“This volume is a powerful antidote to the disinformation propagated by the mass media, so-called political pundits, and ideological combatants. The unitary executive was not hatched in the inner sanctums of the George W. Bush White House, as conspiracy buffs would have us believe, but has its origins in the constitutional fabric of the founding. Critics who bemoan the rise of the unitary executive are simply striking out at political windmills, because the modern presidency is the cause and consequence of this growth in presidential power. Barilleaux, Kelley, and their collaborators have set the historical record straight, and the essays in this volume ought to be required reading for political scientists, journalists, historians, interested citizens, and especially law professors. The unitary executive is here to stay.”—Raymond Tatalovich, Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago
(Raymond Tatalovich Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago)
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