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A Law Unto Itself?, Yale L.J. (The Pocket Part), March 2006


In an uncertain world, crisis demands executive action. And so 2005, a year of crisis, became a year of executive muscle-flexing, in response to crises ranging from Hurricane Katrina to avian flu to the Global War on Terror. In many ways, the legal debates generated were déjà vu all over again. Exorbitant claims of executive power in the War on Terror triggered the strongest clash since the Iran-Contra Affair between a constitutional vision of unchecked executive discretion bottomed on sweeping dicta in United States v. Curtiss- Wright Export Corp. and a counter-vision of shared institutional powers symbolized by Justice Jackson’s canonical concurrence in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer: a clash of visions I discussed more than fifteen years ago.

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