Power Play: The Bush Presidency and the Constitution by James P. Pfiffner

By James P. Pfiffner

The framers of the U.S. structure divided the federal government's powers between 3 branches: the administrative, the legislative, and the judiciary. Their target used to be to avoid tyranny through making sure that not one of the branches might govern on my own. whereas a number of presidents have sought to flee those constitutional constraints, the management of George W. Bush went farther than such a lot. It denied the writ of habeas corpus to participants deemed to be enemy opponents. It suspended the Geneva conference and allowed or inspired using harsh interrogation equipment amounting to torture. It ordered the surveillance of usa citizens with out acquiring warrants as required by way of legislations. And it issued signing statements stating that the president doesn't have the obligation to faithfully execute countless numbers of provisions within the legislation he has signed. persistent Play analyzes the Bush presidency's efforts to extend govt strength in those 4 domain names and places them into constitutional and historic standpoint. Pfiffner explores the evolution of Anglo-American wondering govt energy and person rights. He highlights the teachings the Constitution's framers drew from such philosophers as Locke and Montesquieu, in addition to English constitutional historical past. He files the ways that the Bush administration's rules have undermined the separation of powers, and he indicates how those practices have imperiled the guideline of legislations. Following Sep 11, the Bush presidency engaged in a two-front offensive. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the management aggressively prosecuted the "war on terror." At domestic, it distinct constraints at the energy of the administrative. energy Play lays naked the level of this moment crusade and explains why it's going to proceed to threaten the way forward for republican executive if the opposite branches don't assert their very own constitutional prerogatives.

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21 Thus Hobbes derived the absolute authority of the monarch from the need of humans to live in peace with each other. Since humans were so warlike in the state of nature, the monarch needed unquestioned power in order to establish and maintain domestic order. ”22 Hobbes’s ideas, as expressed in Leviathan, justified the institution of absolute monarchy. But a critical turning point had been reached: Hobbes argued that the legitimate authority of the absolute monarchy derived not from God, but from the people who voluntarily sacrificed their right to do whatever suited them personally in order to live in peace under the laws and rule of the monarch.

Locke called for a king, or chief executive, but would limit the power of the monarch by the nature of his rule. As long as the monarch protected the rights and safety of his citizens, he retained his legitimate authority. But Locke’s revolutionary conclusion was that if the monarch failed to protect the rights of the individuals who had surrendered some of their authority to him, they could undertake to change the monarch. 20 the nature of executive power The Purpose of Government Locke’s initial premises, like those of Hobbes, posited an initial “state of nature” that was marked by conflict because there was no final arbiter of disputes.

Hobbes legitimated absolute monarchy based on a hypothetical contract with the subjects of a realm. Locke changed the terms of the contract between citizens and the government to include the protection of life, liberty, and property; he also posited a right to change the government if it did not meet its obligations. Montesquieu favored the separation of executive from legislative powers in order to prevent tyranny and saw the judicial function as separate from legislating or executing the law.

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