Ira Stoll on the Lame Liberal Case for Expanding Presidential Power


Credit: White House /

How much power should a president have? Anyone who thought America settled that question late in the 18th century with the ratification of the Constitution hasn't been paying attention to the news.

The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has hired law professor Jonathan Turley to represent the House in a lawsuit over President Obama's unilateral changes to the health care law. Meanwhile, Obama's executive action to defer deportation of certain illegal immigrants has generated opposition from Republican members of Congress, including Senator Cruz of Texas, who talks about a "lawless president."

Into this fight wades Harvard law professor and former Obama staffer Cass Sunstein, who, as Ira Stoll reports, says that the only cure for partisanship and gridlock is to give the president even more authority. Believe it or not, according to Sunstein, "the best response…[is] strengthening the hand of technocratic forces within government."