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Albert R. Hunt

Presidential Overreach Is in Eye of the Beholder

Barack Obama is far from the first president to resort to executive action. 
If Congress won't, he will.
If Congress won't, he will.

As the battle intensifies over how much authority President Barack Obama has to take executive measuresin the face of congressional inaction, James Madison and Richard Nixon provide the frames of reference.

Madison, the architect of the U.S. Constitution in the late 18th century, envisioned recurring tension between the executive and legislative branches. Nixon, the first president driven from office by impeachment, demonstrated what abuse of executive power looks like.