The Supreme Court has good reason to question the expansion of power in the executive branch. Agencies such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) exercise broad authority, deciding policy questions that the constitutional Framers expected Congress to decide. As a result, presidents wield far more power than they should.

But the Court picked the wrong time and place to put the brakes on executive authority with its decision in NFIB v. Becerra, the case that involved OSHA’s rule for COVID vaccination or testing in the workplace. The Court acted unwisely—and inconsistently with past decisions.


Continue Reading The Supreme Court’s Misguided COVID Vaccine Decision

With his decision late last week, to weaken regulation of methane emissions, President Trump has extended his efforts to reverse the environmental policies of the Obama (and earlier) Administrations.

These reversals provoke considerable concern about the implications for climate change. They also reflect a serious defect in our winner-take-all system of government. When one party seizes control of the executive power, it can drive policies in one direction. And when the other party regains power, it can reverse course and take policy in the other direction. This high volatility in policy serves the country and the world poorly.


Continue Reading Trump, Obama, and the Problem of Unstable Policy

After reading the Declaration of Independence, it is easy to wonder why the Founding Fathers gave us an imperial presidency. The Declara­tion documents no fewer than twenty-seven grievances about King George III’s abuse of power. But the Constitution was written more than a decade later after an unhappy experience with state constitutions that had severely restricted executive authority and greatly expanded legisla­tive authority.
Continue Reading Independence Day and the Imperial Presidency

In deciding to preserve its “non-delegation” doctrine last week in the Gundy case, the Supreme Court seemingly avoided a serious disruption in government operations. But the Court’s adherence to that doctrine rests on myth more than reality.

Continue Reading The Supreme Court’s Executive Power Myth