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Constitutional Law

Constitutional law

Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award

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The President's Wartime Detention Authority : What History Teaches Us, Anirudh Sivaram May 2015

The President's Wartime Detention Authority : What History Teaches Us, Anirudh Sivaram

Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award

This thesis examines the extent of the President’s wartime detention authority over citizens (in particular, detention authority pursuant to Article II of the U.S. Constitution) through a legal-historical lens. Some Presidents (Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, George W. Bush) have historically relied on Article II authority for detention, while others (Ulysses Grant, Barack Obama) have disclaimed the notion that such authority exists. Clarifying the scope and source of the Presidential detention authority over citizens bears both theoretical and real-world relevance. Theoretically, it lies at the confluence of two central American constitutional traditions – the separation of powers, and the protection ...