This chapter presents the main argument of the book that the modern presidency is both “imperial” and imperiled in following the U.S. Constitution. Contemporary presidents are in a sense “imperial” or above the constitution as they claim and exercise powers that properly belong to other government branches. Otherwise, chief executives are considered imperiled by the constitution when they act less authoritative in executing laws and controlling the executive branch. Those who agree with “imperial” acts of the president pay little attention to the many explicit and implicit constraints on presidential power; on the other hand, those who accept that the president must be imperiled have a simplistic belief that the Constitution was ratified against the emergence of monarchy.
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