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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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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor

(p.144) 12 Zachary Taylor
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter tells the story of a genuine war hero in the mold of Presidents George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and William Henry Harrison. Zachary Taylor was selected as the Whig candidate for president because, like Harrison, he was a former general. Unfortunately for the Whigs, who elected only these two presidents, Taylor's term in office lasted only sixteen months. Taylor was most obviously a Whig in his aversion to the use of the presidential veto, which he had often denounced “as a tool of presidential tyranny.” Notwithstanding his opposition to the use of the veto, he was more than happy to threaten a veto of the Compromise of 1850, and believed in the use of the veto against constitutionally suspect legislation.

Keywords:   war hero, Zachary Taylor, Whig candidate, former general, presidential veto, presidential tyranny, Compromise of 1850, constitutionally suspect legislation

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