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Constitutional Cliffhangers$
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Brian C. Kalt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123517

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123517.001.0001

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Getting Out of Trouble

Getting Out of Trouble

(p.158) 7 Getting Out of Trouble
Constitutional Cliffhangers

Brian C. Kalt

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on three areas: the ways that law interacts with politics when constitutional cliffhangers are resolved; the ways that constitutional weak spots get patched up, either before or after they cause problems; and ways to improve constitutional and legislative drafting to prevent such weak spots from developing in the first place. Constitutional cliffhangers like the ones in this book are dramatic for two reasons. First, they are rare, so they are startling when they happen. Second, they take place in the high-stakes realm of presidential power. Some of the cliffhangers in this book are more likely to occur; others less likely. Some would cause a “crisis”; others would only rise to the level of “interesting predicament.” Some would be easy to prevent or fix; others would be practically impossible. By having all of them set out, some common threads can be identified and some lessons learned.

Keywords:   constitutional cliffhangers, constitutional weak spots, legislative drafting, high-stakes realm, presidential power, common threads, lessons

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