Jeff Rosen Guest-Blogging About William Howard Taft


I'm delighted to report that Jeff Rosen, head of the National Constitution Center, professor at George Washington University Law School, and contributing editor at The Atlantic, will be guest-blogging this week about his new book, William Howard Taft. Here's the summary of the book, from the publisher:

William Howard Taft never wanted to be president and yearned instead to serve as chief justice of the United States. But despite his ambivalence about politics, the former federal judge found success in the executive branch as governor of the Philippines and secretary of war, and he won a resounding victory in the presidential election of 1908 as Theodore Roosevelt's handpicked successor.

In this provocative assessment, Jeffrey Rosen reveals Taft's crucial role in shaping how America balances populism against the rule of law. Taft approached each decision as president by asking whether it comported with the Constitution, seeking to put Roosevelt's activist executive orders on firm legal grounds. But unlike Roosevelt, who thought the president could do anything the Constitution didn't forbid, Taft insisted he could do only what the Constitution explicitly allowed. This led to a dramatic breach with Roosevelt in the historic election of 1912, which Taft viewed as a crusade to defend the Constitution against the demagogic populism of Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

Nine years later, Taft achieved his lifelong dream when President Warren Harding appointed him chief justice, and during his years on the Court he promoted consensus among the justices and transformed the judiciary into a modern, fully equal branch. Though he had chafed in the White House as a judicial president, he thrived as a presidential chief justice.

I much look forward to Jeff's posts!

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  1. Jeff Rosen’s blog on “What Would William Howard Taft Do?” was borderline elementary school work, so no thanks on reading his book.

    Rosen said this:
    “Still, Taft’s principled, if politically risky, decision to force Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibilities to set trade policy helped to crystalize a bi-partisan national consensus in favor of free trade that more or less prevailed until the 2016 election.”

    Congress’ War on Drugs policy and barriers to all sorts of trade is evidence of how ridiculous that statement is. The addition of 2016 being the ending point, just adds in evidence of Rosen’s TDS.

    Rosen reportedly supported Sotomayor’s nomination to be a SCOTUS justice.

  2. I’ve seen a few websites that are ludicrously moderate. I mean a sidebar filled to the overflow, blazing pictures, full blog entries on the landing page (rather than extracts), a huge number of GIFs? every one of those things back off a blog. They make it take more time to look down in light of the fact that it’s slacking, and it could even make a more established PC crash/solidify totally. apply here for new pan card.

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