The imperial Presidency

This article looks at the growth of presidential power across the Bush and Obama presidencies (and with the looming threat of a Trump presidency!). It argues that these President’s have gone far beyond the powers given to them by the constitution and that the President therefore needs reigning in, especially with Trump on the horizon. It gives an outstanding list of evidence for such imperialism included below for you. All of this could be used to underline the development of the Constitution, the failure of separation of powers, the role of the Presidency at home or abroad and even how the role has developed beyond that which was set out by the Founding Fathers.

“Bush and Obama have built infrastructure any devil would lust after. Behold the items on an aspiring tyrant’s checklist that they’ve provided their successors:

  • A precedent that allows the president to kill citizens in secret without prior judicial or legislative review
  • The power to detain prisoners indefinitely without charges or trial
  • Ongoing warrantless surveillance on millions of Americans accused of no wrongdoing, converted into a permanent database so that data of innocents spied upon in 2007 can be accessed in 2027
  • Using ethnic profiling to choose the targets of secret spying, as the NYPD did with John Brennan’s blessing
  • Normalizing situations in which the law itself is secret — and whatever mischief is hiding in those secret interpretations
  • The permissibility of droning to death people whose identities are not even known to those doing the killing
  • The ability to collect DNA swabs of people who have been arrested even if they haven’t been convicted of anything
  • A torture program that could be restarted with an executive order”