Fragmentation of Powers

The executive Power shall be vested in a President ARTICLE II SECTION I All legislative Powers . . . shall be vested in a Congress ARTICLE I SECTION I THE PRESIDENCY Fragmentation of Powers * Have the

Washington used to get a good chuckle from a gag about life in the White House with Dick and Pat Nixon. On a typical evening in the mansion, the phone rings and the caller asks the President what he is doing. Answers Nixon: "I'm just sitting here reading the Constitution, and Pat is knitting an American flag."

It is doubtful that Pat Nixon ever knit the flag, but the pervasive involvement of every modern President in interpreting the powers granted by the U.S. Constitution is now a hard and often bruising fact of life. If a President does not actually curl...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!