opinion Julian Davis Mortenson Published 6:10 AM EDT Jul 14, 2019 Is the president a king? The question may sound absurd, but you’d be surprised: A great many lawyers, politicians, judges and policy experts think the U.S. Constitution builds from exactly that starting point. Their argument relies on the first sentence of Article II, which gives the president “the executive power.” That phrase, they claim, was originally understood as a generic reference to monarchical authority. This means, they say, that the American president must have been given all the prerogatives of a British king, except where the Constitution specifies otherwise. The foreign-relations scholar Philip Trimble states their conclusion plainly: “Unless the [Article II] Vesting Clause is meaningless, it incorporates the unallocated parts of Royal Prerogative.” The repercussions of this claim ripple across the face of constitutional law. During Senate hearings on legislating an end to the Iraq War, Brad Berenson, who had served as one of President George W. Bush’s top lawyers, told the Senate that the executive-power clause conveys “a vast reserve of implied authority to do whatever may be necessary in executing the laws and governing the nation.” More: Lower courts implore justices: Stop rigged elections | Brian Dickerson… Read full this story
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