The Institutional Presidency
An analysis of the modern presidency and separation of powers.
This paper analyzes the direction of the presidency in response to the separation of powers and the evolution of such in the 20th century. The presidency has been increasingly institutionalized and today’s warrants of power and authority stem from the president’s aides and the bureaucracy he oversees.
“The separation of powers, as stipulation in the Constitution of the United States, has undergone several power changes since its formulation in 1789. The roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches have changed in formation of the 20th century balance of power. Most notable in this evolution is the rise of the presidency. Over the past two hundred years, the institutional office of the president has expanded to include hundreds of personnel in the Executive Office of the President. The bureaucracy has increased in size and scope, and the Cabinet encompasses fourteen departments. Each of these blocs presents opportunities and limitations in presidential power. Like our government structure as a whole, the executive establishment consists of separated institutions sharing power. Today’s presidential challenges involve constitutional governance and the harnessing of power structures within the executive office.”