Obama Believes in the Unitary Executive

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Lots of people complain about the Republicans' belief, under Bush, in the concept of the Unitary Executive. But what they don't understand is the fact that every President believes in the same concept.

Including President Obama.

The concept is simple: all executive authority belongs to the President. So if the Commerce Secretary has a power, that power comes from the President. This concept is based on the very first words of the Second Article of the Constitution: "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

Obama announced this week that the census director would report to him, not the Commerce Secretary. Republicans cried foul, and said it was a "power grab." But according to the Constitution, since this power is executive power under the Commerce Secretary, Obama already had that power; so he is grabbing nothing.

That said, the census is a power listed under the First Article, and it is the obligation of the President to ensure the data is accurate, and the right of the Congress to have full oversight of the process. The President's power is not unlimited, of course, and the Unitary Executive concept does not imply that it is. slashdot.org

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 8, 2009 11:09 AM.

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