Executive Underreach, in Pandemics and Otherwise

American Journal of International Law, Vol. 114, pp. 608-17, 2020

10 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2020 Last revised: 21 Oct 2020

See all articles by David Pozen

David Pozen

Columbia University - Law School

Kim Lane Scheppele

Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; University Center for Human Values, Princeton University

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Legal scholars are familiar with the problem of executive overreach, especially in emergencies. But sometimes, instead of being too audacious or extreme, a national executive's attempts to address a true threat prove far too limited and insubstantial. In this Essay, we seek to define and clarify the phenomenon of executive underreach, with special reference to the COVID-19 crisis; to outline ways in which such underreach may compromise constitutional governance and the international legal order; and to suggest a partial remedy.

Keywords: coronavirus, underreach, overreach, emergency governance, executive power, underenforced norms, Orban, Trump, Bolsonaro

Suggested Citation

Pozen, David E. and Scheppele, Kim Lane, Executive Underreach, in Pandemics and Otherwise (2020). American Journal of International Law, Vol. 114, pp. 608-17, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3649816 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3649816

David E. Pozen (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/david-pozen

Kim Lane Scheppele

Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-6949 (Phone)
609-258-0922 (Fax)

University Center for Human Values, Princeton University ( email )

304 Louis Marx Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

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