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Kagan’s Writings Back Wider Executive Powers

Publication Date: 
May 21, 2010
New York Times
Charlie Savage

Charlie Savage talked to Professor David Freeman Engstrom about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's views on executive power. He filed this story:

For decades, presidents of both parties have sought to impose greater White House control over the federal agencies that regulate matters like workplace rules, food and drug safety, and protections for natural resources. Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee, has been a strong supporter of such efforts to expand presidential power over domestic affairs, her writings show.

Ms. Kagan’s nomination has come at a time of intense controversy over federal interventions in the financial, auto and health care industries. But her views may elude partisan fodder over Big Government: Her approach would be equally useful for a President Ronald Reagan, who wanted agencies to weaken regulations, as for a President Barack Obama, who generally wants stronger rules.

“She clearly thinks that greater presidential control over the bureaucracy is a good thing because it can bring vigor to government,” said David F. Engstrom, a Stanford law professor of administrative law. “She thinks that is important in light of political gridlock in Washington.”