Debate: The True Extent of Presidential Power

Pennsylvania & Temple Student Chapters

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On October 29, 2020, the Penn and Temple Student Chapters of the Federalist Society hosted former officemates and leading scholars of presidential power John Yoo and Saikrishna Prakash for a debate on the true extent of presidential power. 

In his new book, "Defender in Chief," John Yoo argues that Trump, despite his populism, is more often the defender rather than the opponent of the original Constitution. In "The Living Presidency," however,  Sai Prakash counters that Trump, like many modern presidents, has violated the Constitution’s grant of executive power. The debate was moderated by Temple Law's Professor Craig Green.


  • Prof. John C. Yoo, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Prof. Saikrishna B. Prakash, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Moderator: Prof. Craig Green, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Introduction: Lorenzo Riboni, The Federalist Society's Temple Law Student Chapter
  • Introduction: Andrea Leelike, The Federalist Society's Penn Law Student Chapter


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speakers.