Robert Jackson's Opinion on the Destroyer Deal and the Question of Presidential Prerogative

40 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2013  

Robert J. Delahunty

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Justice Robert Jackson, Steel Seizure Case, Korematsu, Presidential Power, Constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Delahunty, Robert J., Robert Jackson's Opinion on the Destroyer Deal and the Question of Presidential Prerogative (2013). Vermont Law Review (2013, Forthcoming); U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2243980

Robert J. Delahunty (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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