AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Louis Fisher for his invaluable suggestions, close proofreading, and guidance.
The Law Barack Obama and Civil Liberties
Article first published online: 29 OCT 2012
© 2012 Center for the Study of the Presidency
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 867–880, December 2012
How to Cite
Pyle, C. H. (2012), The Law Barack Obama and Civil Liberties. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 42: 867–880. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-5705.2012.04022.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 29 OCT 2012
Most Americans would like to believe that no person is above the law. When President Richard M. Nixon claimed such powers, he was driven from office. When President George W. Bush authorized the torture of prisoners, that abuse was viewed as an aberration. But, as this article documents, President Barack Obama is squarely in the Nixon-Bush tradition of presidential power. In shielding the torturers from prosecution, he has preserved kidnapping and torture as options, while asserting unreviewable authority to assassinate foreigners and American citizens by remote controlled drones. These developments have transformed the American presidency into a modern version of the Stuart monarchies, at least where allegations of national security are concerned.