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Ambition Made of Sterner Stuff

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Coming soon (?): a lawsuit filed by House Speaker John Boehner challenging President Obama’s usurpation of legislative authority. According to the Speaker’s legal theory (summarized in a memo that closely follows a recent George Will column), the courts can resolve disputes between the legislative and executive branches when (a.) no private party has standing to sue; (b.) there is no legislative remedy; (c.) one branch of the Congress has voted to authorized such a lawsuit.

 

Professors David Corbin and Matt Parks discuss the history of the power of the presidency, which our Founders envisioned as weaker than Congress.  The American founders expected the Congress to be the bully of the federal government. Publius (pen name of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay), for example, argues throughout The Federalist that the legislative branch will be the most powerful and, therefore, most likely to usurp the powers of its coordinate branches.

 

David Corbin is a Professor of Politics and Matthew Parks an Assistant Professor of Politics at The King’s College in New York City.  They are co-authors of “Keeping Our Republic:  Principles for a Political Reformation” (2011).

 

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