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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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George W. Bush

George W. Bush

(p.405) 43 George W. Bush
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on George W. Bush and how he assumed presidency under exceptionally trying circumstances after an election that was as chaotic and controversial as the Hayes–Tilden election of 1876. The Bush administration has attempted at times to invoke the theory of the unitary executive as the basis for broad, inherent executive powers in the foreign policy realm. Most of its references to the unitary executive, however, are in the more conventional and limited context of the president's power to supervise the execution of federal law by removing and directing subordinates. One question many skeptics raised about Bush during his presidential campaign was whether he was a lightweight whose administration would, in fact, be run by others behind the scenes. If so, the unitary executive under Bush would have been unitary only in name.

Keywords:   trying circumstances, George W. Bush, Hayes–Tilden election, foreign policy, federal law, lightweight, behind the scenes

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