Chapter

Presidential Power

in Lincoln's Constitution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780226237930
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226237954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226237954.003.0007
Presidential Power

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Lincoln remained very much a democratic leader throughout the war and claimed to find a constitutional basis for his wartime actions in his role as chief executive. This chapter focuses on whether he usurped congressional power in playing this independent role, although separation of powers was far from the only constitutional issue raised by his actions. Lincoln seemingly claimed the power to ignore at least some judicial rulings, and even the right to violate statutes or the Constitution when necessary. His use of executive power was particularly noteworthy because of his past views about the presidency. The Court's approach to issues of presidential power has been sensitive to context, particularly to the multiple possible relationships between an executive act and past or present congressional action. The president must have the power to respond to attacks and other urgent threats when advance authorization from Congress is impractical.

Keywords: Lincoln; democratic leader; congressional power; executive power; president

Chapter.  12547 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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