27 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2005
Why are some Presidents great and others not? Does their attitude toward the Constitution have anything to do with it? What do legal scholars have to contribute to presidential studies? This paper reviews and uses data from the book "Presidential Leadership" to suggest possible relationships between presidential success and their approach to constitutional interpretation. It argues that the formalist versus functionalist debate over the separation of powers has reached a stalemate, and that constitutional law can gain by study of political science approaches to the Presidency. It also suggests that presidential studies, which views reliance on a president's constitutional powers as a sign of failure, can gain new insights by examining a President's use of his formal legal authorities.
Keywords: presidency, presidential power, separation of powers, leadership
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Delahunty, Robert J. and Yoo, John, Thinking About Presidents. Cornell Law Review, Forthcoming; UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 810864; U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=810864