Law Matters, Even to the Executive

29 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2014 Last revised: 12 Nov 2014

Date Written: June 28, 2013


In both constitutional and international law, legal rules often cannot be enforced without the voluntary compliance of the entity they target. Is that really “law”? Or is rule compliance in such circumstances just an expression of “interests”? This review essay engages with three books -- by Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, Jack Goldsmith, and Carl Schmitt -- to argue that this question cannot be answered without serious attention to the actual workings of modern American law, politics, and governance.

Keywords: executive power, separation of powers, rule of law, Madison, Article II, Carl Schmitt

Suggested Citation

Mortenson, Julian Davis, Law Matters, Even to the Executive (June 28, 2013). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 112, April 2014; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 408. Available at SSRN:

Julian Davis Mortenson (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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