"This is a book about principles, politics, & power-constitutional principles & how they affect the power of the president, Congress, and the courts to decide some of the momentous issues of our time.
The cases & materials examined here address fundamental questions about the authority of the United States government to wage war, conduct diplomacy, rule autocratically in times of emergency, and cloak its actions in secrecy. At stake is nothing less than the question of who shall control the awesome resources of the world's richest and most powerful nation.
Contrary to the dominant thrust of most writing about American politics since the 1930s, this book focuses not on the short-term acquisition & exercise of political power, but on the long-term legitimacy of claims to power that would fundamentally alter the constitutional distribution of policy-making authority. It proceeds on the assumption that the most important people in American politics today are not the politicians or their financial backers, nor the electorate and their manipulators, but the founders who write, and the followers who reinterpreted, the constitutional rules that define what constitute a legitimate exercise of governmental authority."