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The Executive Unbound

Author: Eric A. Posner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199831753
Size: 40.48 MB
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Ever since Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. used "imperial presidency" as a book title, the term has become central to the debate about the balance of power in the U.S. government. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, when advocates of executive power such as Dick Cheney gained ascendancy, the argument has blazed hotter than ever. Many argue the Constitution itself is in grave danger. What is to be done? The answer, according to legal scholars Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, is nothing. In The Executive Unbound, they provide a bracing challenge to conventional wisdom, arguing that a strong presidency is inevitable in the modern world. Most scholars, they note, object to today's level of executive power because it varies so dramatically from the vision of the framers. But there is nothing in our system of checks and balances that intrinsically generates order or promotes positive arrangements. In fact, the greater complexity of the modern world produces a concentration of power, particularly in the White House. The authors chart the rise of executive authority straight through to the Obama presidency. Political, cultural and social restraints, they argue, have been more effective in preventing dictatorship than any law. The executive-centered state tends to generate political checks that substitute for the legal checks of the Madisonian constitution.

The Executive Unbound

Author: Eric A. Posner
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199765331
Size: 14.17 MB
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Legal scholars Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule argue that the great complexity of the modern world produces a concentration of power, particularly in the White House. The authors chart the rise of executive authority and they look at the legislation which was designed to limit the presidency, but failed to do so. Political, cultural and social restraints, they argue, have been more effective in preventing dictatorship than any law. Indeed, the executive-centered state tends to generate political checks that substitute for the legal checks of the constitution.

The Age Of Deference

Author: David Rudenstine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019938150X
Size: 68.13 MB
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In October 1948-one year after the creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate military branch-a B-29 Superfortress crashed on a test run, killing the plane's crew. The plane was constructed with poor materials, and the families of the dead sued the U.S. government for damages. In the case, the government claimed that releasing information relating to the crash would reveal important state secrets, and refused to hand over the requested documents. Judges at both the U.S. District Court level and Circuit level rejected the government's argument and ruled in favor of the families. However, in 1953, the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts' decisions and ruled that in the realm of national security, the executive branch had a right to withhold information from the public. Judicial deference to the executive on national security matters has increased ever since the issuance of that landmark decision. Today, the government's ability to invoke state secrets privileges goes unquestioned by a largely supine judicial branch. David Rudenstine's The Age of Deference traces the Court's role in the rise of judicial deference to executive power since the end of World War II. He shows how in case after case, going back to the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies, the Court has ceded authority in national security matters to the executive branch. Since 9/11, the executive faces even less oversight. According to Rudenstine, this has had a negative impact both on individual rights and on our ability to check executive authority when necessary. Judges are mindful of the limits of their competence in national security matters; this, combined with their insulation from political accountability, has caused them in matters as important as the nation's security to defer to the executive. Judges are also afraid of being responsible for a decision that puts the nation at risk and the consequences for the judiciary in the wake of such a decision. Nonetheless, The Age of Deference argues that as important as these considerations are in shaping a judicial disposition, the Supreme Court has leaned too far, too often, and for too long in the direction of abdication. There is a broad spectrum separating judicial abdication, at one end, from judicial usurpation, at the other, and The Age of Deference argues that the rule of law compels the court to re-define its perspective and the legal doctrines central to the Age.

The Cosmopolitan Constitution

Author: Alexander Somek
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191030929
Size: 51.36 MB
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Originally the constitution was expected to express and channel popular sovereignty. It was the work of freedom, springing from and facilitating collective self-determination. After the Second World War this perspective changed: the modern constitution owes its authority not only to collective authorship, it also must commit itself credibly to human rights. Thus people recede into the background, and the national constitution becomes embedded into one or other system of 'peer review' among nations. This is what Alexander Somek argues is the creation of the cosmopolitan constitution. Reconstructing what he considers to be the three stages in the development of constitutionalism, he argues that the cosmopolitan constitution is not a blueprint for the constitution beyond the nation state, let alone a constitution of the international community; rather, it stands for constitutional law reaching out beyond its national bounds. This cosmopolitan constitution has two faces: the first, political, face reflects the changed circumstances of constitutional authority. It conceives itself as constrained by international human rights protection, firmly committed to combating discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and to embracing strategies for managing its interaction with other sites of authority, such as the United Nations. The second, administrative, face of the cosmopolitan constitution reveals the demise of political authority, which has been traditionally vested in representative bodies. Political processes yield to various, and often informal, strategies of policy co-ordination so long as there are no reasons to fear that the elementary civil rights might be severely interfered with. It represents constitutional authority for an administered world.

The Long Decade

Author: David Jenkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199368341
Size: 80.26 MB
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The terrorist attacks of 9/11 precipitated significant legal changes over the ensuing ten years, a "long decade" that saw both domestic and international legal systems evolve in reaction to the seemingly permanent threat of international terrorism. At the same time, globalization produced worldwide insecurity that weakened the nation-state's ability to monopolize violence and assure safety for its people. The Long Decade: How 9/11 Changed the Law contains contributions by international legal scholars who critically reflect on how the terrorist attacks of 9/11 precipitated these legal changes. This book examines how the uncertainties of the "long decade" made fear a political and legal force, challenged national constitutional orders, altered fundamental assumptions about the rule of law, and ultimately raised questions about how democracy and human rights can cope with competing security pressures, while considering the complex process of crafting anti-terrorism measures.

Counterinsurgency Law

Author: William Banks
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199311463
Size: 53.87 MB
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In Counterinsurgency Law, William Banks and several distinguished contributors explore from an interdisciplinary legal and policy perspective the multiple challenges that counterinsurgency operations pose today to the rule of law - international, humanitarian, human rights, criminal, and domestic. Addressing the considerable challenges for the future of armed conflict, each contributor in the book explores the premise that in COIN operations, international humanitarian law, human rights law, international law more generally, and domestic national security laws do not provide adequate legal and policy coverage and guidance for multiple reasons, many of which are explored in this book. A second shared premise is that these problems are not only challenges for the law in post-9/11 security environments-but matters of policy with implications for the international community and for global security more generally.

Framed

Author: Sanford Levinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199930872
Size: 67.25 MB
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In his widely acclaimed volume Our Undemocratic Constitution, Sanford Levinson boldly argued that our Constitution should not be treated with "sanctimonious reverence," but as a badly flawed document deserving revision. Now Levinson takes us deeper, asking what were the original assumptions underlying our institutions, and whether we accept those assumptions 225 years later. In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President's veto power--not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly "settled" and "hardwired" structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized "dysfunctionality" of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different--and perhaps better--than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California's ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating. Whether we are concerned about making America more genuinely democratic or only about creating a system of government that can more effectively respond to contemporary challenges, we must confront the ways our constitutions, especially the United States Constitution, must be changed in fundamental ways.

Political Science Quarterly

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 46.63 MB
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Vols. 4-38, 40-41 include Record of political events, Oct. 1, 1888-Dec. 31, 1925 (issued as a separately paged supplement to no. 3 of v. 31-38 and to no. 1 of v. 40)