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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters Aug 2019

The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters

Daniel Walters

Scholars, lawyers, and, indeed, the public at large increasingly worry about what purposive presidential inaction in enforcing statutory programs means for the rule of law and how such discretionary inaction can fit within a constitutional structure that compels Presidents to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Yet those who have recognized the problem have been hesitant to assign a role for the court in policing the constitutional limits they articulate, mostly because of the strain on judicial capacity that any formulation of Take Care Clause review would cause. In this Article, I argue that courts still can and ...


Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as ...


Political Norms, Constitutional Conventions, And President Donald Trump, Neil S. Siegel Jan 2018

Political Norms, Constitutional Conventions, And President Donald Trump, Neil S. Siegel

Faculty Scholarship

This symposium Essay argues that what is most troubling about the conduct of President Trump during and since the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign is not any potential violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law. There likely have been some such violations, and there may be more. But what is most troubling about President Trump is his disregard of political norms that had previously constrained presidential candidates and Presidents, and his flouting of nonlegal but obligatory “constitutional conventions” that had previously guided and disciplined occupants of the White House. These norms and conventions, although not “in” the Constitution ...


Making Treaty Implementation More Like Statutory Implementation, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

Making Treaty Implementation More Like Statutory Implementation, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Both statutes and treaties are the “supreme law of the land,” and yet quite different practices have developed with respect to their implementation. For statutes, all three branches have embraced the development of administrative law, which allows the executive branch to translate broad statutory directives into enforceable obligations. But for treaties, there is a far more cumbersome process. Unless a treaty provision contains language that courts interpret to be directly enforceable, they will deem it to require implementing legislation from Congress. This Article explores and challenges the perplexing disparity between the administration of statutes and treaties. It shows that the ...


From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith Jan 2017

From Treaties To International Commitments: The Changing Landscape Of Foreign Relations Law, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Sometimes the United States makes international commitments in the manner set forth in the Treaty Clause. But far more often it uses congressional-executive agreements, sole executive agreements, and soft law commitments. Foreign relations law scholars typically approach these other processes from the perspective of constitutional law, seeking to determine the extent to which they are constitutionally permissible. In contrast, this Article situates the myriad ways in which the United States enters into international commitments as the product not only of constitutional law, but also of international law and administrative law. Drawing on all three strands of law provides a rich ...


The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2016

The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What are the proper bounds of executive discretion in the regulatory state, especially over administrative decisions not to take enforcement actions? This question, which, just by asking it, would seem to cast into some doubt the seemingly absolute discretion the executive branch has until now been thought to possess, has become the focal point of the latest debate to emerge over the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. That ever‐growing, heated debate is what motivated more than two dozen distinguished scholars to gather for a two‐day conference held late last year at the University of Pennsylvania Law ...


The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters Jan 2016

The Judicial Role In Constraining Presidential Nonenforcement Discretion: The Virtues Of An Apa Approach, Daniel E. Walters

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars, lawyers, and, indeed, the public at large increasingly worry about what purposive presidential inaction in enforcing statutory programs means for the rule of law and how such discretionary inaction can fit within a constitutional structure that compels Presidents to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Yet those who have recognized the problem have been hesitant to assign a role for the court in policing the constitutional limits they articulate, mostly because of the strain on judicial capacity that any formulation of Take Care Clause review would cause. In this Article, I argue that courts still can and ...


Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Presidential Signing Statements: A New Perspective, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new perspective on Presidents’ use of signing statements. Following the dichotomy reflected in the literature, I will analyze signing statements raising constitutional objections and those offering interpretive guidance for ambiguous provisions separately. With respect to constitutional interpretation of statutes by the executive branch, Presidents have long asserted the authority and obligation to consider constitutionality when executing statutes. The widespread acceptance of the President’s power to construe statutes to avoid constitutional problems and to refuse to defend the constitutionality of or to enforce statutes in appropriate cases confirms the propriety of this conclusion. If these fairly ...


Separation Of Powers Legitimacy: An Empirical Inquiry Into Norms About Executive Power, Cary Coglianese, Kristin Firth Jan 2016

Separation Of Powers Legitimacy: An Empirical Inquiry Into Norms About Executive Power, Cary Coglianese, Kristin Firth

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The continuing debate over the President’s directive authority is but one of the many separation-of-powers issues that have confronted courts, scholars, government officials, and the public in recent years. The Supreme Court, for instance, has considered whether the President possesses the power to make appointments of agency heads without Senate confirmation during certain congressional recesses. The Court has passed judgment recently, but has yet to resolve fully, questions about Congress’s authority to constrain the President’s power to remove the heads of administrative agencies. And the Court has considered the limits on Congress’s ability to delegate legislative ...


Treaty Termination And Historical Gloss, Curtis A. Bradley Jan 2014

Treaty Termination And Historical Gloss, Curtis A. Bradley

Faculty Scholarship

The termination of U.S. treaties provides an especially rich example of how governmental practices can provide a “gloss” on the Constitution’s separation of powers. The authority to terminate treaties is not addressed specifically in the constitutional text and instead has been worked out over time through political-branch practice. This practice, moreover, has developed largely without judicial review. Despite these features, Congress and the President—and the lawyers who advise them—have generally treated this issue as a matter of constitutional law rather than merely political happenstance. Importantly, the example of treaty termination illustrates not only how historical practice ...


Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward Jan 2012

Legislative Supremacy, Kenneth Ward

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

This essay develops an institutional perspective to consider limitations on judicial authority. Rather than assume that judicial decisions put an end to disagreements about what the Constitution means, this perspective focuses on the political contests that occur after judges make disputed interpretations of constitutional law. This perspective shows that scholars both exaggerate the role of judicial review in enforcing constitutional limits and underestimate the political instability that follows from difficulty in challenging controversial judicial holdings. Together, these claims are the beginning of an argument defending a form of legislative supremacy that would allow Congress and the President to override judicial ...


Presidential Power In Historical Perspective: Reflections' On Calabresi And Yoo's The Unitary Executive, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2010

Presidential Power In Historical Perspective: Reflections' On Calabresi And Yoo's The Unitary Executive, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

On February 6 and 7, 2009, more than three dozen of the nation’s most distinguished commentators on presidential power gathered in Philadelphia to explore themes raised by a book authored by Steven Calabresi and I co-authored reviewing the history of presidential practices with respect to the unitary executive. The conference honoring our book and the special journal issue bringing together the articles presented there provide a welcome opportunity both to look backwards on the history of our project and to look forwards at the questions yet to be answered.