Robert Jackson's Opinion on the Destroyer Deal and the Question of Presidential Prerogative
Robert J. Delahunty
University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)
Vermont Law Review (2013, Forthcoming)
U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-08
Recent years have seen a revival in interest in the work of Robert Jackson – Franklin Roosevelt's Attorney General and later Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Jackson's account of Executive power in his concurring opinion in the Steel Seizure Case is widely celebrated. But that opinion needs to be read against the backdrop of his earlier work as Attorney General and his judicial opinions in other leading war powers cases, including his notable dissent in Korematsu. Starting with a close analysis of Attorney General Jackson's controversial 1940 opinion in the "destroyer deal" case – which was written at the point at which Hitler seemed poised to defeat Britain – this essay investigates whether and how far Jackson accepted some form of Presidential "prerogative" to act, even unconstitutionally, in the face of critical emergencies threatening the life of the nation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Supreme Court, Justice Robert Jackson, Steel Seizure Case, Korematsu, Presidential Power, Constitutional law
Date posted: April 3, 2013
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