Representative/Senator Trump?

29 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2017

See all articles by Gary Lawson

Gary Lawson

Boston University School of Law

Date Written: August 2, 2017


The American presidency is a much more powerful office in 2017 than was contemplated by the Constitution of 1788. In large measure, that is because Congress has unconstitutionally subdelegated many of its legislative powers to the President. The President thus effectively functions as the Congress to a significant degree, which not only perverts the constitutional structure but also significantly raises the stakes of presidential elections. There is no good reason to expect Congress or the courts to stem the tide of subdelegation. Presidents, however, have a number of tools available to resist, and even reverse, that tide. While there is every reason to doubt the general willingness of presidents to turn down grants of authority in the name of an abstract document, there might – just might – be some perhaps counterintuitive reasons to think that President Trump may be more willing than other presidents to take the lead in reining in executive power.

Keywords: Delegation, Nondelegation, Executive Power

Suggested Citation

Lawson, Gary, Representative/Senator Trump? (August 2, 2017). 21 Chapman Law Review — (Forthcoming), Boston Univ. School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-39, Available at SSRN:

Gary Lawson (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Law ( email )

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617-353-3812 (Phone)

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