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The Executive and Public LawPower and Accountability in Comparative Perspective$
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Paul Craig and Adam Tomkins

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285594.001.0001

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Taming the Most Dangerous Branch: The Scope and Accountability of Executive Power in the United States

Taming the Most Dangerous Branch: The Scope and Accountability of Executive Power in the United States

Chapter:
(p.161) 5 Taming the Most Dangerous Branch: The Scope and Accountability of Executive Power in the United States
Source:
The Executive and Public Law
Author(s):

Ernest A. Young

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285594.003.0006

This chapter undertakes a brief descriptive account of executive power — both its scope, and the means that American law has developed to hold the executive to account for its actions. This chapter proceeds in five parts. The first part offers a brief theoretical overview of the American separation of powers. The second part describes the scope of executive authority. Thereafter, the third part discusses legislative, judicial, and political mechanisms for holding the executive to account. The fourth part then illustrates how some of those mechanisms play out in three distinct contexts: the exercise of delegated powers, the President's ‘war power’, and the contemporary problem of executive detention. Finally, the fifth part advances some brief conclusions about the comparative efficacy of separated powers and checks and balances models, and the relation of those modes to judicial review.

Keywords:   executive power, American law, delegated powers, war power, executive detention

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