Trump, Executive Power, and the Bully Pulpit

Event The Constitution
Event The Constitution

February 22, 2018 Trump, Executive Power, and the Bully Pulpit

~ Co-hosted by the Claremont Institute ~

Thursday, Feb 22, 2018

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC


In a classic essay published in the Claremont Review of Books, Harvey Mansfield remarked that the "debate between the strong executive and its adversary, the rule of law is necessary, good, and – under the Constitution – never-ending.” Over time, and particularly since the dawn of Progressivism, executive power has evolved and expanded, sparking new debates over its proper limits and reach.


The President has long been understood to possess inherent – and even plenary – powers in the realm of foreign affairs. The extent of those powers is a question as old as the Republic. But the contours of executive power in the domestic arena have changed dramatically with the creation of the modern regulatory state and the rise of “bully pulpit." Vast delegations of power to a bureaucracy insulated from political checks has strengthened the Executive Branch, while undermining the notion of the unitary Executive and the separation of powers. And the direct use of presidential rhetoric to shape public opinion has at once democratized and empowered the presidency.


This distinguished panel will take a look at how President Trump has approached these particular facets of executive power in important and novel ways, paying special attention to how the President has asserted greater control over the administrative state, curbed the previous Administration’s use of “enforcement discretion” to effectively change law, and used the power of the “bully pulpit” to advance his objectives and inflame his critics.


~ Reception following at 7:00 p.m. ~


Suggested readings:


"The Case for the Strong Executive” by Harvey Mansfield,Claremont Review of Books, Vol. VII, Number 2 - Spring 2007
"What Separation of Powers Means for Constitutional Government" by Charles Kesler, First Principles Series, Number 17 - December 2007