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The Unitary Executive – Presidential Power from Washington to Bush - Yale Scholarship Online
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The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush

Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo


This book undertakes a detailed historical and legal examination of presidential power and the theory of the unitary executive. This theory—that the Constitution gives the president the power to remove and control all policy-making subordinates in the executive branch—has been the subject of heated debate since the Reagan years. To determine whether the Constitution creates a strongly unitary executive, the authors look at the actual practice of all forty-three presidential administrations, from George Washington to George W. Bush. They argue that all presidents have been committed proponents ... More

Keywords: presidential power, unitary executive, Constitution, policy-making subordinates, executive branch, presidential administrations, George Washington, George W. Bush

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steven G. Calabresi, author

Christopher S. Yoo, author

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Part I An Introduction to the Debate over the Unitary Executive