The Presidency and the Constitution

"The Imperial Presidency"

Overview

A troubling feature of the modern presidency, which has expanded rapidly under the Obama Administration, is a brazen disregard for constitutional limits and the law. Contrary to the framework of the Constitution, which depends on competition among the three branches of government, Congress and the courts have been increasingly complacent in the face of, and often compliant with, the development of this feature. Over the course of the last century, particularly since the 1960s, these institutions have enabled the modern executive branch to exercise all three powers of government in the regulation of nearly all aspects of everyday life.

Lecture

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Recommended Readings

Discussion Questions

  1. How did Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan challenge the administrative state?
  2. How have the courts been compliant in the creation of the imperial presidency?
  3. How can proper education attempt to address the modern threats to constitutionalism and self-government?

Q & A Session

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Mickey Craig is the William and Berniece Grewcock Professor of Politics and Chairman and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has been teaching since 1986. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Arkansas State University, and both his Masters of Arts and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School.