product description page

Untrodden Ground : How Presidents Interpret the Constitution (Reprint) (Paperback) (Harold H. Bruff)

Untrodden Ground : How Presidents Interpret the Constitution (Reprint) (Paperback) (Harold H. Bruff) - image 1 of 1

About this item

Harold H. Bruff’s Untrodden Ground: How Presidents Interpret the Constitution situates the president as the nation’s most important law interpreter, and in those terms traces the incremental, persistent, and ongoing expansion of the President’s formal power through US history.  Offering much more than a mere ?greatest hits” of presidential history, Bruff’s central argument is that the accretion of presidential power has been the result of usually ad hoc responses to specific exigencies.  His project is a study of these responses through history; showing how over time, such improvised answers to issues of the moment take on the force of prerogative.  Practices repeated often and successfully in effect become law, even though many of them have only tenuous formal legal justification.  Bruff’s scrutiny of this basic political dynamic offers deliberate contrast from theoretically or ideologically driven arguments over how presidential power is defined by the Constitution’s text.  Untrodden Ground suggests that while executive power has expanded far beyond its original Constitutional mandate, the modern presidency is nevertheless limited generally appropriately by the national political process.  In Bruff’s analysis the true, and only, condition on legitimacy is ?political ratification,” the assent of Congress and the people.  Nevertheless, history shows that on the whole the American Constitutional system functions well, if reactively, to control the excesses of executive behavior.  Ultimately, the project is both a sustained argument about the nature of executive lawmaking as well a reference for authoritative historic, political, and legal analysis of key episodes in US history
Edition: Reprint
Number of Pages: 557
Genre: Freedom + Security / Law Enforcement, History, Political Science
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Harold H. Bruff
Language: English
Street Date: November 23, 2016
TCIN: 52109991
UPC: 9780226418261
Item Number (DPCI): 248-41-4235
If the item details above aren’t accurate or complete, we want to know about it. Report incorrect product info.

Guest reviews

Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store & online. See our price match guarantee. See how a store is chosen for you.