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Untrodden GroundHow Presidents Interpret the Constitution$
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Harold H. Bruff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226211107

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226211244.001.0001

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The Last Mile

The Last Mile


(p.427) Chapter Fifteen The Last Mile
Untrodden Ground

Harold H. Bruff

University of Chicago Press

Barack Obama responded to the financial crisis by working with Congress and the Federal Reserve to stabilize the economy. He adjusted existing precedents about dealing with terrorists, setting new baselines for the terror war. He bombed Libya without congressional authorization. He did seek authorization to deal with Syria. He unilaterally engaged in drone and cyber warfare, and used special forces to kill bin Laden. He used the National Security Agency to search for terror plots. Constitutional law is underdeveloped regarding these national security matters. He protected state secrets and prosecuted leaks aggressively. He sponsored health care reform and successfully defended the constitutionality of Obamacare in the Supreme Court. He struggled with Congress over the budget and the debt ceiling, leading to a government shutdown. He eventually supported gay rights. He used executive orders when Congress would not provide new authority.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, financial crisis, terror war, Libya, Syria, Drones, cyber warfare, National Security Agency, Obamacare, debt ceiling

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