Presidential Power DebatedGAMBIER, Ohio (October 23, 2009) Noted constitutional law expert Louis Fisher leads a panel of scholars on the Constitution and the presidency in a discussion of the boundaries of executive power on Wednesday.
"Presidential Prerogative and the Constitution" will be analyzed at 7:30 p.m. in Peirce Lounge in Peirce Hall.
Fisher is a senior specialist in constitutional law with the Law Library of the Library of Congress, a former researcher for the Congressional Research Service, and the author of many books. He will be joined on the panel by Benjamin Kleinerman, assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University, author of The Discretionary President, and a 1997 Kenyon College graduate, and by Thomas Karako, visiting assistant professor of political science at Kenyon and post-doctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of American Democracy.
The panel will examine "whether and to what extent presidents may step outside statutory law and constitutional law" in times of national crisis or when national security is at stake, Karako said. "How does one make legal sense of a president's claim that they are required to step outside the law? The questions raised by the panel are immediately timely and controversial given the current war on terrorism, but are also quite enduring," he said.
Presidents have pushed the limits of their power in the name of national security during the Civil War, World War II, and after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.
Fisher's many books include The Constitution and 9/11: Recurring Threats to America's Freedoms, The Supreme Court and Congress: Rival Interpretations, and Presidential War Power. In his three decades serving the Congressional Research Service and the Library of Congress, he has testified many times before Congress on such issues as war powers, state secrets, executive privilege, and covert spending, among others.
The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.