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Trump Claimed To Have 'Total Authority' As President. What Are The Uses, Limits Of Modern U.S. Presidential Power?

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3pdoPbh
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3pdoPbh

Executive authority grew considerably under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. And in his first days in the White House, Joe Biden has been aggressively signing executive orders to quickly enact his political agenda.

In a system of government that was founded on checks and balances, has the president become too powerful?

What are the uses and limits of presidential power? Who makes the rules and how are they enforced?

If a Senate impeachment conviction is virtually impossible, how do you hold a president accountable? Has Congress lost its ability to check the power of the president?

How has executive authority grown over time and during Trump’s presidency? What role has the Supreme Court played in its expansion? What are the implications?


  • John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution
  • Andy Rudalevige, chair of the Department of Government and Legal Studies and professor of government at Bowdoin College; author of multiple books including "The New Imperial Presidency" (2005) and "Politics of the Presidency" (2016)
  • Nicholas Almendares, associate professor at the Indiana University School of Law

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, March 1.

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