Executive Power

Executive Power

This unit in the No. 86 video series explores a host of questions relating to the scope of Executive Power, from the time of the Founding to modern-day debates on that question.

The lack of an Executive was a key weakness of the Articles of Confederation, but our Framers, knowing the danger of executive power as exercised by King George III, were reluctant to vest too much power in one office. What were their biggest fears?  How does the American Executive borrow and break from the power of the King of England?

We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape…?

-Federalist No. 45

This unit also explores the core purpose and function of the Executive, including how the power of the President fits into the separation of powers.

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3 of 13: Executive Removal Power Part I: The Decision of 1789 [No. 86]

What is the removal power and why is it important? Professor Ilan Wurman discusses early debates about the implications of the Executive power specified in the Constitution. The Framers concluded that the President must have the power to oversee an ... What is the removal power and why is it important?

Professor Ilan Wurman discusses early debates about the implications of the Executive power specified in the Constitution. The Framers concluded that the President must have the power to oversee and remove officers with executive functions.

Ilan Wurman is a visiting assistant professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he teaches administrative law and constitutional law. He is the author of A Debt Against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism (Cambridge 2017).

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

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