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Debating the Presidency
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Debating the Presidency
Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive

Fifth Edition
Edited by:

Other Titles in:
Presidency

January 2020 | 312 pages | CQ Press
The study of the presidency—the power of the office, the evolution of the executive as an institution, the men who have served—has generated a great body of research and scholarship. What better way to get students to grapple with the ideas of the literature than through conflicting perspectives on some of the most pivotal issues facing the modern presidency? Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson have once again assembled a cadre of top scholars to offer a series of pro/con essays that will inspire spirited debate beyond the pages of the book. Each essay—written in the form of a debate resolution— offers a compelling yet concise view on the American executive.
 
Preface
 
Contributors
 
1. Resolved, the framers of the Constitution would approve of the modern Presidency
Pro:

David Nichols
Con:

Terri Bimes
 
2. Resolved, the unitary executive is a myth
Pro:

Richard J. Ellis
Con:

Saikrishna Prakash
 
3. Resolved, political parties should nominate candidates for the presidency through a national primary
Pro:

Michael Nelson
Con:

Andrew E. Busch
 
4. Resolved, the president should be elected directly by the people
Pro:

Burdett Loomis
Con:

Byron E. Shafer and Monica Busch
 
5. Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Pro:

David Karol
Con:

Thomas E. Cronin
 
6. Resolved, the new media has brought the president closer to the people
Pro:

Matthew R. Kerbel
Con:

Bruce Miroff
 
7. Resolved, presidential success and failure are better explained by political time and the strength of governing coalitions than a president's character and leadership qualities
Pro:

Stephen Skowronek
Con:

Paul Quirk
 
8. Resolved, presidential power is (still) the power to persuade
Pro:

Matt Dickinson
Con:

George C. Edwards III
 
9. Resolved Congress should be required to vote up or down on legislation proposed by the president
Pro:

William G. Howell and Terry Moe
Con:

B. Dan Wood
 
10. Resolved, presidents have usurped the war power that rightfully belongs to Congress
Pro:

Nancy Kassop
Con:

Robert Bauer
 
11. Resolved, Congress should have the power to override a presidential pardon by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses
Pro:

Sharece Thrower
Con:

Jeffrey Crouch
 
12. Resolved, executive orders and other unilateral presidential directives undermine democracy
Pro:

Gene Healy
Con:

Andrew Rudalevige
 
13. Resolved, the president has too much power in the selection of judges
Pro:

David A. Yalof
Con:

John Anthony Maltese
 
14. Resolved, the vice presidency should be abolished
Pro:

Douglas L. Kriner
Con:

Joel K. Goldstein

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Richard J. Ellis

Richard J. Ellis is Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics at Willamette University. His books include The Development of the American Presidency (2015; 2nd ed.); Debating Reform: Conflicting Perspectives on How to Fix the American Political System (with Michael Nelson, 3nd ed., 2016); Judging the Boy Scouts of America: Gay Rights, Freedom of Association, and the Dale Case (2014); Judging Executive Power: Sixteen Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped the American Presidency (2009); and Presidential Travel: The Journey from George Washington to George W. Bush (2008). In 2008 he was named the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of... More About Author

Michael C. Nelson

Michael Nelson is Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. A former editor of the Washington Monthly, his most recent books include Trump’s First Year (2018); The Elections of 2016 (2018); The Evolving Presidency: Landmark Documents (2019); The American Presidency: Origins and Development (with Sidney M. Milkis, 2011); and Governing at Home: The White House and Domestic Policymaking (with Russell B. Riley, 2011). Nelson has contributed to numerous journals, including the Journal of Policy History, Journal of Politics, and Political Science Quarterly. He also... More About Author

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