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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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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

(p.374) 40 Ronald Reagan
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the administration of Ronald Reagan as a major turning point in the balance of power between the president and Congress over the administration of the law. Reagan ushered in an era in which the White House staff, through the Office of Management and Budget, exercised much greater control than had existed before 1981. In addition, his second attorney general, Edwin Meese III, sketched out a broad understanding of presidential power that has largely prevailed over the past twenty-five years. Some observers have been ambivalent regarding the depth of Reagan's commitment to the unitary executive. Regardless of how deep one thinks Reagan's commitment to the unitary executive ran, it is, however, crystal clear that he never acquiesced in or agreed to a congressional power that deviated from the unitary executive.

Keywords:   Ronald Reagan, major turning point, balance of power, White House staff, Edwin Meese III, congressional power

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