SATURDAY, October 19, 2013 7:00 PM Arrival Time


Restoring the Constitutional Presidency Part 2

Video of talk by David Mayer (61 minutes)


Jackie Hazelton


Has the U.S. Presidency effectively become an “absolute monarch” in the modern era as the Presidential powers have expanded far beyond the scope envisioned by the Constitution’s framers? In this two-part talk law professor and author David N. Mayer shows how far we have departed from the Founders’ vision of a constitutionally-limited presidency, perhaps realizing during the 20th century Thomas Jefferson’s fear that the Chief Executive would become essentially an “elective monarch,” with unbounded powers.

In this video, Part 2, Mayer communicates that what the modern record of Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, shows over the past 100 years or so, is that the office has in many respects been transformed into what Thomas Jefferson most feared, a tyrannical executive, in effect, an elective monarch–someone who acts as if he is not bound by the “chains of the Constitution.”

Mayer discusses several types of abuse of power enacted by modern Presidents from both parties. He also discusses the Supreme Court decision on “Obamacare.” (The Court’s decision was delivered the day before Part 1 of Mayer’s presentation.)


David N. Mayer is a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he teaches courses in constitutional history.  Mayer has a PhD in History from the University of Virginia.  He returned to academic life after a law practice in Washington, DC.  He has written books The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (Constitutionalism and Democracy), published in 1995 and Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right in 2011.  See http://law.capital.edu/FacultyBio.aspx?ID=22633


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