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National Security and Double Government$
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Michael J. Glennon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780190206444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190206444.001.0001

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The Reality of Madisonian Weakness

The Reality of Madisonian Weakness

(p.39) Chapter 4 The Reality of Madisonian Weakness
National Security and Double Government

Michael J. Glennon

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the scant control Madisonian institutions actually exercise over national security matters. Judges are beholden to the Trumanites and normally dismiss challenges to Trumanite policies without reaching the merits, and even when they do, the Trumanites almost always win (as in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC). Members of Congress are responsive to constituencies that exhibit little organized concern about secret security policies, leading members to defer to Trumanite threat assessments, neglect oversight, or overtly join forces with the Trumanite network. The President is more presider than decider, having been boxed in by Trumanites who dominate a bottom-up decision-making process and who present nominal policy options. NSA surveillance is a case in point, demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between the Trumanites and Madisonians, the Trumanites’ role as policy authors, presidential complaisance, judicial subservience, and congressional indifference.

Keywords:   surveillance, oversight, FISC, constituencies, Trumanites, Madisonians, U.S. President, U.S. Congress, courts

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