How Much Power is Too Much Power: Unitary Executive Theory

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The power of the president to control and remove the members of the executive branch at will has dominated U.S.A politics for a long time. The first time this debate was featured was during the Convention in Philadelphia that led to the drafting of the U.S.A constitution (Calabresi and Yoo 3). This paper will review the pros and cons of the Unitary Executive Theory, citing examples from recent events as well as expressing my views on the issue.

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While the Unitary Executive Theory enables the president to bypass all the red tape involved in authorizing crucial policies, it is also lauded for enabling the president to represent the best interests of the citizens of America against the political machinations of Congress. However, this same system has presented opportunities for presidents to abuse their power. The Unitary Executive Theory under Bushs administration was used to justify presidential power over using military force, interrogating prisoners, detention, intelligence gathering and extraordinary rendition (Kelley 23).

Instead of learning from the history of his predecessor, the current president has not done much to prevent the misuse of Unitary Executive Power. The Obama administration has followed in the footsteps of the former president, claiming to have the power to execute citizens of the U.S.A suspected of being involved with terrorism without any hearing or trial (Edelson).

I believe that the Unitary Executive Power should be limited in the sense that, the president does not get to have absolute authority over the executive in terms of matters involving infringement of the first amendment of the U.S.A constitution. While this power may prove to be indispensable in times of war, it is important that it is guarded against rulers inclined to seek their own agendas at the cost of national security.

In conclusion, the Unitary Executive Policy was developed by the founding fathers of the U.S.A as a measure to curb bureaucracy. However, as time went by, the sitting U.S.A presidents have used this provision to further their personal agendas. The debate on limiting the Unitary Executive Power is one that continues to feature in the U.S.A political arena amidst campaigns to elect the next president into power. Americans are waiting expectantly to see whether the new administration will curtail this excess power or use it to its advantage like previous regimes.

Work Cited

Calabresi, Steven G., and Christopher S. Yoo. The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush. Yale University Press, 2008.

Edelson, Chris. "Obama and the Risk of Unchecked Presidential Power." Constitution Daily. N.p., 2014. Web. 5 May 2016.

Kelley, Christopher S. "Rethinking Presidential PowerThe Unitary Executive and the George W. Bush Presidency." annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL. 2005.1-60. Retrieved from:

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