Nov 20, 2019
Power Struggle: The Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the "Imperial Presidency"
This was a discussion of executive power in the U.S. constitutional system, specifically the thesis that the American system of government has evolved from one designed for primacy of the legislative branch to one in which we have an “imperial presidency.”
About the Event
While it can be difficult to open the news without seeing headlines about the power struggles between the current President and Congress, the debate over where the primacy of power truly lies go back much further than just 2016. For many administrations now, the American system of government has seen this play out between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.
It seems that, regardless of which party controls the White House, there are partisan declarations that the President is relying on powers beyond those allowed by the U.S. Constitution—that the presidency is an “imperial” one. First made popular in 1973 by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in his book The Imperial Presidency, the idea of the “imperial presidency” has been used by one party or the other to describe what they deem as overreaching actions by the President.
Join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Independence National Historical Park in this ongoing partnership series of programming for this nuanced discussion about these structural issues in our constitutional system.