Mark Rozell

Mark Rozell is Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University, and is the author of Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy and Accountability. University Press of Kansas, 2010 (third edition).

From Idealism to Power: The Presidency in the Age of Obama

Power and Constraint

As a presidential candidate in 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama made stirring pledges to respect the rule of law and to abide by constitutional limitations on certain presidential powers. He left no doubt that he intended to put an end to George W. Bush-era governing practices that many argued had resulted in a dangerous unleashing of unconstrained presidential powers. On such topics as initiating war, military detention, interrogation practices, rendition, domestic surveillance, candidate Obama strongly criticized the Bush administration for having violated longstanding U.S. constitutional and even moral principles. He went so far as to argue that the U.S. had…

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