The next Liberty Law Talk is now available. In this episode, I discuss with Michael Federici his new book entitled The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton. Federici’s book and this podcast are a distinct challenge to many of the criticisms and historical and political baggage that has been placed on Hamilton as a statesman and thinker.
Jeremy Bailey’s review essay of The President’s Czars: Undermining Congress and the Constitution, evaluates Mitchel Sollenberger and Mark Rozell’s original study of this disturbing aspect of presidential power in the twentieth century. Bailey observes
First, they introduce a much-needed clarity by defining precisely what a czar is. Under their definition, a czar is an official in the executive branch that is 1) not confirmed by the Senate, and 2) exercises “final decision-making authority” over policies, budgets or rules (7). A czar then is not an advisor or a Senate confirmed officer, but it is possible that a Senate-confirmed officer becomes a czar when the president delegates “nonstatutorily authorized duties” on that officer (8). As they argue, this part of the definition is important, because presidents frequently give regular department heads czar like duties and then seek to shield them with executive privilege from oversight by Congress. By their definition, then, czars are outside the Constitution, specifically with respect to the appointments clause and the non-delegation doctrine. Classification is a vital part of scholarship, and they have provided a way for scholars to discern whether officials designated as czars by media are in fact czars.
Finally, don’t miss Sollenberger and Rozell’s podcast with me on Liberty Law Talk regarding their book’s study of presidential czars.