The UW's Daily newspaper highlighted a recent Political Science talk given by Prof. Douglas L. Kriner from Cornell University.
Professor Kriner focused on the validity and the effectiveness of the checks and balances system in American politics in regulating the power of the executive branch in the era of the United States president Donald Trump.
He raised questions on the president’s unilateral act and the validity of the balance of powers to rise, such as the president declaring national emergencies over a border wall. According to Kriner, the reason for this shift to a more authoritarian presidency might be due to the lack of institutional checks on the executive branch.
Kriner also argues that although institutions have not proven to be significant actors, public opinion may indeed serve as a check on presidential unilateralism in their place. Using statistical evidence to support his claim, he concludes “Trump seems to be more interested in his brand itself, rather than institutions or public opinion.”