Federalist No. 70: Is the President Too Powerful?
Article first published online: 14 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2011 The American Society for Public Administration
Public Administration Review
Special Issue: The Federalist Papers Revised for Twenty-First-Century Reality Edited by Paul C. Light of the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University Co-sponsored by the School of Public Affairs at American University and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California
Volume 71, Issue Supplement s1, pages s112–s117, December 2011
How to Cite
Pfiffner, J. P. (2011), Federalist No. 70: Is the President Too Powerful?. Public Administration Review, 71: s112–s117. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02470.x
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 14 NOV 2011
Federalist No. 70 sets the stage for a powerful chief executive through its emphasis on energy in the executive. This essay reviews the challenges of holding this energy accountable in a republican form of government and concludes that recent presidents have stretched their authorities beyond even the most aggressive defense of the concept. Comparing presidents Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush, the author concludes that the founders never intended to give any president authority to suspend the law during emergencies. His appendix to Federalist No. 70 is designed to both restate and reset the debate about just how far presidents may go in pursuit of national goals.