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The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal and External Separation of Powers

38 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009 Last revised: 2 Nov 2009

Gillian E. Metzger

Columbia University - Law School

Date Written: October 7, 2009

Abstract

This Essay, prepared as part of the Emory Law Journal’s 2009 Thrower Symposium on Executive Power, addresses internal separation of powers constraints on the executive branch. After briefly describing the form such constraints take and assessing their constitutional legitimacy, the Essay takes up the question of whether internal constraints can be an effective restraint on presidential aggrandizement. I argue that although such constraints can have some purchase, focusing solely on internal measures frames the inquiry too narrowly and ignores the important interdependent relationship between internal and external checks on executive power. The Essay concludes with an assessment of one such internal-external connection, the link between internal executive branch constraints and external legal doctrine, and suggests that separation of powers analysis should be more expressly used to reinforce such internal constraints.

Suggested Citation

Metzger, Gillian E., The Interdependent Relationship Between Internal and External Separation of Powers (October 7, 2009). Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 09-213. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1486288 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1486288

Gillian E. Metzger (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

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