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The Obama War Powers Legacy and the Internal Forces that Entrench Executive Power

110 American Journal of International Law 680 (2016)

Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-02

21 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016 Last revised: 24 Mar 2017

Rebecca Ingber

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2016

Abstract

In exploring the Obama war powers legacy, this essay examines the systemic forces inside the executive branch that influence modern presidential decision-making and, barring a total reimagining of the executive branch, will operate on administrations to come. These mechanisms and norms fall broadly within two categories: (1) features that favor continuity and hinder presidents from effecting change, including both novel assertions of executive power and attempts to dial back that power; and (2) features that incrementally aggrandize such power claims. Together, these two sets of forces operate as a one-way ratchet, slowly expanding and ultimately entrenching executive branch power.

Keywords: obama administration, bush administration, trump administration, executive branch, presidential powers, executive branch lawyering, war powers, international law, military detention, targeting

Suggested Citation

Ingber, Rebecca, The Obama War Powers Legacy and the Internal Forces that Entrench Executive Power (October 15, 2016). 110 American Journal of International Law 680 (2016); Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2879209

Rebecca Ingber (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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