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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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Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison

(p.219) 23 Benjamin Harrison
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Benjamin Harrison, the first and only grandson of a president to be elected to the presidency. Harrison, who took charge of his administration and directed the actions of his subordinates, recognized that as president he possessed the executive power, and accordingly he told his subordinates what to do. Socolofsky and Spetter comment that he “would be sensitive about his executive and administrative authority as president and would not tolerate challenges to his power.” Harrison offered the most definitive statement of his attitude regarding the president's sole authority to execute the law in his memoirs published after he left office, specifically noting that the president “is responsible for all executive action.”

Keywords:   grandson of president, Benjamin Harrison, executive power, Socolofsky, Socolofsky and Spetter, administrative authority, president's sole authority, executive action

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