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Abstract

The aim of the first section is to examine the judiciary's contribution to executive hegemony in the area of foreign affairs as manifested in Supreme Court rulings regarding executive agreements, travel abroad, the war power, and treaty termination. In the second section of this article, I provide a brief explanation of the policy underlying the Constitutional Convention's allocation of foreign affairs powers and argue that those values are as relevant and compelling today as they were two centuries ago. In the third section, I contend that a wide gulf has developed in the past fifty years between constitutional theory and governmental practice in the conduct of foreign policy. The Court has greatly facilitated the growth of presidential power in foreign affairs in three interconnected but somewhat different ways by: (1) adhering to the sole-organ doctrine as propounded in the 1036 case of United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., (2) invoking the political question doctrine and other nonjusticiable grounds, and (3) inferring congressional approval of presidential action by virtue of congressional inaction or silence. I then offer an explanation of the Court's willingness to increase presidential foreign affairs powers well beyond constitutional boundaries. For a variety of reasons, the Court views its role in this area as a support function for policies already established. In this regard the judiciary has become an arm of the executive branch. Finally, I conclude with the argument that to maintain the integrity of the Constitution, the Court must police constitutional boundaries to ensure that fundamental alterations in our governmental system will occur only through the process of constitutional amendment. The judicial branch may not abdicate its function "to say what the law is. "