Boston University School of Law
It is not surprising that, nearly two and a quarter centuries after ratification of the Federal Constitution, people are still actively arguing about the extent of the American President's powers.' The concept of executive power is notoriously murky,2 so disputes about its scope and character are virtually unavoidable. It is, however, at least a tad surprising that, nearly two and a quarter centuries after ratification of the Federal Constitution, people are still arguing about the constitutional sources of presidential power. 3 It is one thing to disagree about how far the President's power extends, but it is quite another thing to disagree about which words of the Constitution are relevant to that inquiry. It is actually quite remarkable that the United States could function for more than 200 years without agreement on something as basic as the correct provisions of the Constitution to read in determining the extent of the powers of one of the federal government's great institutions. Nonetheless, the dispute about the proper grounding for presidential power is one of the most fundamental and long-lived disputes in American constitutional law.
What Lurks Beneath: NSA Surveillance and Executive Power Symposium: The Role of the President in the Twenty-First Century,
Boston University Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/726