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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Oldest Debate in Constitutional Law and Why It still Matters Today

The Oldest Debate in Constitutional Law and Why It still Matters Today

Chapter:
(p.3) The Oldest Debate in Constitutional Law and Why It still Matters Today
Source:
The Unitary Executive
Author(s):

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300121261.003.0001

This chapter concerns the scope of the president's power to remove subordinates in the executive branch or to direct their actions, which is one of the oldest and most venerable debates in U.S. constitutional law. This debate arose during the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the Constitution, and it flared into a huge public controversy in the so-called Decision of 1789 during the First Congress. Proponents of presidential power argued then and argue now that the Constitution gives and ought to give all of the executive power to one, and only one, person: the president of the United States. The Constitution's creation of a unitary executive eliminates conflicts in law enforcement and regulatory policy by ensuring that all of the cabinet departments and agencies that make up the federal government will execute the law in a consistent manner and in accordance with the president's wishes.

Keywords:   president's power, executive branch, U.S. constitutional law, Philadelphia Convention, Decision of 1789, First Congress, unitary executive

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