Checks & Balances

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration claimed nearly unfettered power for the office of the presidency. It declared that, as Commander in Chief, the president is empowered to take whatever measures he deems necessary to promote the nation’s security. It contravened statutes and evaded judicial review. Such unilateral exercise of power undermined our constitutional system of checks and balances.  

While the Obama administration has not asserted powers as far-reaching as those of its predecessor, it also has not entirely disavowed the legacy of executive power that it inherited. The Brennan Center continues the fight to restore checks and balances as the linchpin of our constitutional system and a key source of this nation’s strength.

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