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However bitter, complex, and urgent today's controversies over executive power may be, former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo, now an AEI visiting scholar and a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that they are nothing new. In Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power
Download Audio as MP3 from George Washington to George W. Bush (Kaplan Publishing, 2010), Yoo explores a factor often overlooked in the current debates: the past. He traces how the decisions made by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt transformed the role of the American president. The link between the vigorous exercise of executive power and presidential greatness is both significant and misunderstood, Yoo explains, and the Constitution is deliberately vague on the limits of presidential power so as to allow strong presidents leeway to act in defense of the nation in times of crisis.
At this event, Yoo discussed Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush. AEI resident scholar and government expert Norman J. Ornstein, and Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at George Washington University and legal affairs editor of The New Republic, continued the debate on executive power. Constitutional law expert Terry Eastland of The Weekly Standard moderated.
|4:00||Presenter:||John Yoo, AEI and Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley|
|Discussants:||Norman J. Ornstein, AEI|
|Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University Law School and The New Republic|
|Moderator:||Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard|
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Terry Eastland has been publisher of The Weekly Standard since 2001. Prior to this, he published The American Spectator, and edited Forbes MediaCritic. He has also been a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he wrote Energy in the Executive: The Case for the Strong Presidency (Free Press, 1992). His other books include Ethics, Politics and the Independent Counsel (University Press of America), Counting by Race (Basic Books, 1980), Ending Affirmative Action: The Case for Colorblind Justice (Basic Books, 1997), Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court (Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993), and Freedom of Expression in the Supreme Court (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002). Eastland served as director of public affairs for the Justice Department during the Ronald Reagan's presidency. Prior to that, he worked for newspapers including the Greensboro Record, the San Diego Union, and the Virginian-Pilot.
Norman J. Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News. He serves as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also serves as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); the coauthored The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press, 2006); and, most recently, Vital Statistics on Congress 2008 (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), also coauthored.
Jeffrey Rosen is a professor of law at George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America (Holt Paperbacks, 2007). He is also the author of The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America (Oxford University Press, 2006), The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005), and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America (Vintage, 2001). Mr. Rosen's essays and commentaries have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, on National Public Radio, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer.
John Yoo is a visiting scholar at AEI and a professor of law at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003, where he worked on issues involving foreign affairs, national security, and the separation of powers. He has also served as general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is the author of Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush (Kaplan Publishing, January 2010), War by Other Means: An Insider's Account of the War on Terror (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), and The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs after 9/11 (University of Chicago Press, 2005).