This Article explores whether the President should interpret the Constitution aggressively and, if so, whether the President should act on such aggressive interpretations. Part I examines whether the presidential oath and other constitutional duties obligate the President to interpret the Constitution. Part II considers constitutional signing statements as the manifestation of an aggressive approach to presidential constitutional interpretation. Part III considers whether the Constitution is a legal document or a political document, and how that determination might affect how aggressive the President should be when interpreting the Constitution. Part IV considers how the Supreme Court's and Congress's constitutional interpretations might constrain presidential constitutional interpretation or suggest restrained presidential constitutional interpretation. Part V considers Zivotofsky v. Kerry and whether it provides the President additional arguments to support an aggressive approach to constitutional interpretation, particularly when considering matters related to executive power.

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Publication Date

Fall 2016