Weekend Voices 5/03/08

Guest Producer: Marge May   Guest Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Topic:  Constitutional Checks and Balances and the Separation of Powers

How does the Constitution provide for checks and balances and the separation of powers?   How it is supposed to work?

What has been the history of concentrated executive power in modern times?  What are some of the methods used by the Executive branch to increase its power?  What are some recent examples of the way that each of these concepts has been used to concentrate extraordinary executive power?
·    Secrecy  ·  Inherent powers  ·   Political appointments & the civil service  ·   Signing statements ·   Unitary Executive theory

Is the Legislative branch institutionally weakened by the forces of modern politics?  Are the Constitutional protections adequate to modern reality?  What can citizens do?

Guest: Charlie Savage won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his Boston Globe coverage of Presidential signing statements.  He recently joined the staff of the New York Times.  He is the author of the book, Takeover:  The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, which has just come out in paperback.
Neil Kinkopf teaches constitutional law, criminal law, legislation and civil procedure at Georgia State University College of Law.  He is co-chair for the issue group on Separation of Power and Federalism at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.  During the Clinton Administration, Professor Kinkopf was a special assistant in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where his practice focused on issues of presidential power.

FMI: www.acslaw.org ; www.lwvme.org