As a concept, the unitary executive theory is not exotic to the administration of the United States of America; it is a commonly-held principle of the country’s constitutional system. This is the position and belief held by Anthony Colangelo, Christopher Yoo and other like minded scholars. John Yoo one of George W. Bush’s most powerful advisors held the theory close to his heart. Saikrishna Prakash and Steven Calabrese observe that the office of the President must have the ability to control as well as execute federal laws, a reality that is easy to understand and one that resonates with the earliest lessons learnt from the constitution.
The lessons learned informed the constitution’s framers of the need to reject shared executive powers (Bravin 2006). The theory has been in named existence since Ronald Reagan’s administration (Bensing n. d. ). For the American public, the gist of the matter is that the theory under discourse denies the Supreme Court, Congress or any other recognized system from exercising its authority to question the President on how he discharges his duties.
The authorities remain as advisors, leaving the President to act according to his discretion. The bottom line truth is that there are no checks and balances, equating the scenario to a form of dictatorship. Ironically, the elimination of the ill of dictatorship was the reason for the famous American Revolution. In this context, the unitary executive theory defies constitutional liberties and essentially comes of as anti-American (McGinns 2006).
This paper takes a polar view to the theory presented. Theory, Practice and Implications By the time that the incumbent was signing anti-torture laws, the news that the citizens were dealing with was the admission by the President that from the year 2002, he had severally given authorization for the National Security Agency (NSA) to undertake electronic surveillance of communications and transactions without securing a warrant; a brazen contravention of federal law.
President Bush also made the declaration before that that under unitary executive theory, he had unilateral authority to disregard all Geneva Conventions as well as to detain citizens and immigrants alike, taking them as enemy soldiers. The same president invoked his unitary executive powers to indiscriminately declare war. The undertones in these declarations actually scream out that presidential power has to be both unchecked and unilateral. The administrative, flagrant intrusions by the President make the term ‘Unitary executive’ come across as the green light for practically unlimited executive power (Bergen 2006).
Andrew Rudalevige paints the picture clearly when he says that all presidents endeavor to push the boundaries of their authority: it is an intrinsic aspect element of the position held as far as the constitution is concerned. The question that perpetually begs an answer is whether the other actors in the political field will push back. Even though the push back timeframe has varied significantly over the years (for Abraham Lincoln, it occurred after he passed away), there is an apparent constancy in the belief, or rather assumption, that the political actors mentioned shall push back (Bensing n. d. ).