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The Dual ExecutiveUnilateral Orders in a Separated and Shared Power System$
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Michelle Belco and Brandon Rottinghaus

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799973

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799973.001.0001

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Unilateral Orders in a Separated and Shared Power System

(p.167) Chapter Eight Conclusion
The Dual Executive

Michelle Belco

Brandon Rottinghaus

Stanford University Press

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.

Keywords:   unilateral power, shared power, responsibility, constitution

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