Since the United States Constitution was written, there has been a constant tug-of-war for power between the three branches of government: the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch. In this time, the executive has been able to acquire many powers which include being Commander in Chief of the Army, the power to grant executive orders and signing statements. All of these branches work with, and against each other by navigating through a system of checks and balances which is in place to ensure that no one branch of government gets too powerful. This allows each branch to balance each other out, in theory, based on the will of the electorate. These checks and balances include procedural rules that let the branches control each others power, for example the executive's (President's) ability to veto a bill from Congress, or Congress' ability to change the composition and jurisdiction of the federal courts.
[...] President Bush and his closely-allied network have sought to, and been successful in making the office of the executive much more powerful than it had been for a long time. They did so in many cases by using the signing statement power which allows the president to write in clauses that release him from being affected by the law. As was mentioned to, Bush has increased the power of the executive so much, that the Presidents of the future might have dangerously too much power, and a strong reluctance to give any of it up. Bibliography Edsall, T. B. (2006). Building Red America. [...]
[...] New York, NY: Basic Books. Gore, Al (2007). The Assault on Reason, New York: The Penguin Press. Huffington, A. (2008). Right is Wrong. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Kelley, C.S. & Marshall, B. W. (2008). The Last Word: Presidential Power [...]
[...] The Bush administration has always believed they have the right to unitary governing. (Kelley,et al. 2008). In addition to this, the President had important people around him, particularly Dick Cheney who took it upon himself to restore the executive power that had been in decline since the 1970s when the Nixon regime ended. Cheney believed that the office of the President did not have the authority it needed for the president to do his job, and therefore he was working to strengthen them. [...]
[...] Why bother, if he can simply decide on his own whim which provisions of a law apply to him and which ones he'll simply ignore.” (Gore, 2007: 223-225). One must understand the context of the Bush presidency to fully grasp who and why this administration has used these methods so often to usurp power for the executive office. Bush was elected by means of a contested election, and a victory that came at the hands of the Supreme Court, despite losing the popular vote. [...]
[...] He has said how Bush has abused signing statements which we will get into later, and he wrote the book Takeover: The Return of Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy. In this book he said, “Bush has bypassed laws and treaties that he said infringed on his wartime powers, expanded his right to keep information secret from Congress and the courts, centralized greater control over the government in the White House, imprisoned U.S. citizens without charges, and used signing statements to challenge more laws than all predecessors combined.” (Savage, 2007). [...]
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