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Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy, and Accountability (Studies in Government and Public Policy) [Paperback]

by Mark J. Rozell

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Paperback, September 1, 2002 --  
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There is a newer edition of this item:
Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy, and Accountability (Studies in Government and Public Policy) Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy, and Accountability (Studies in Government and Public Policy)
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Book Description

September 1, 2002 0700612106 978-0700612109 Revised
With the ghost of Watergate still haunting our political conscience, one might expect American presidents to hesitate before invoking executive privilege. But in the wake of the Clinton impeachment and with the onset of the Bush years, we are again confronted with the questionable exercise of presidential prerogatives. Mark Rozell's Executive Privilege--called "the definitive contemporary work on the subject" by the Journal of Politics--has provided for the past decade an in-depth review of the historical exercise of executive privilege and an analysis of the proper scope and limits of presidential power. Now Rozell has updated this important work to cover two new presidents and show how both have revived the national debate over executive privilege. Rozell takes a balanced approach to a subject mired in controversy, providing both a historical overview of the doctrine and an explanation of its importance in the American political process. Exercised as far back as George Washington, executive privilege caught modern America's attention with Nixon's abuses of power-after which his immediate successors looked to other sources of authority for withholding information. Although it is viewed by many as undemocratic--or even a "constitutional myth"--Rozell argues that executive privilege not only derives from the Constitution but, if prudently used, even supports the president's efforts in constructing and implementing policy. This new edition features a substantial new chapter on the Clinton and Bush presidencies, as well as textual revisions throughout that reflect the author's latest analysis of the proper scope of executive privilege, given the numerous secrecy controversies of the past decade. Rozell reviews Bill Clinton's resistance to numerous congressional and grand jury investigations and he assesses George W. Bush's proclivity for secrecy. Rozell explains how each of these presidents has sparked controversy over attempts to revive executive privilege-in the process doing significant damage to this constitutional principle. He also addresses the potential roles and influence of both the judiciary and Congress regarding executive privilege, suggesting that disputes over withheld information are best resolved by the separation of powers and the ebb and flow of political tides. Rozell continues to stress the legitimate role of executive privilege and looks to the day when a president can use it without embarrassment, and his book remains the most balanced treatment available of this concept. It allows readers to not only better understand the impact of the Clinton years but also to assess the Bush administration in action.

Editorial Reviews


"Rozell is one of a handful of genuine scholars of the murky doctrine of executive privilege." -- National Law Journal

"The definitive contemporary work on the subject." -- Journal of Politics

About the Author

Mark J. Rozell is Ordinary Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics at The Catholic University of America and coauthor of the forthcoming Power and Prudence: The Incremental Presidency of George H. W. Bush.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Government and Public Policy
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: University Press Of Kansas; Revised edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700612106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700612109
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,678,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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