Unilateral Orders in a Separated and Shared Power System
Chapter 8 concludes with the argument that, with respect to unilateral orders, presidents often have the authority to be independent but do not always act that way. Independent presidents engage their executive authority, and discretion, to act alone, whereas administrators exercise delegated authority and political will to work with Congress. The knowledge of how presidents use unilateral orders may help to dampen the fear that presidents are able to use their unilateral powers unchecked because of a congressional retreat. The circumstances under which presidents act against Congress are selective. What remains is an understanding and awareness that the majority of unilateral orders are used to facilitate the needs of government. Concerns over an aggressive or overbearing president who pushes around an unsuspecting Congress may be overblown as presidents balance their political goals with their institutional responsibilities and duty to act.
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