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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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Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford

(p.356) 38 Gerald R. Ford
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter illustrates the difficulty Gerald R. Ford faced in defending the prerogatives of the executive branch, given that Watergate had effectively destroyed public confidence in the presidency. Ford also lacked the mandate and the broad base of political support needed for vigorous presidential action. Instead of acquiescing in congressionally imposed invasions on the unitariness of the executive branch, however, Ford held firm and defended the unitariness of the executive with the aid of his assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, Antonin Scalia. The first two major issues of the Ford presidency emerged one month into his administration, when he pardoned both former president Richard M. Nixon and many individuals who had evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

Keywords:   public confidence, Gerald R. Ford, Watergate, political support, congressionally imposed invasions, unitariness, Antonin Scalia, Vietnam War

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