Many presidents have chafed against limits to their power, but in progressive presidents normal political ambition is alloyed with a validating ideology. Woodrow Wilson provided the progressive template by disparaging the separation of powers as an anachronistic impediment to the presidential power requisite for the modern age.
Monday's argument will be another manifestation of America's intermittent efforts to tame executive power, efforts that predate nationhood: The Declaration of Independence is a menu of complaints against "a long train of abuses and usurpations" by "the present King of Great Britain." The present president's cavalier approach to statutes (as with his unilateral rewriting of the Affordable Care Act) and the Constitution (see four paragraphs above) make Monday's argument important.
George Will's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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