Journal of Constitutional Law (Jun 2020)

States of Emergency

  • Bruce Ackerman

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1
pp. 77 – 82


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War and emergency talks are attractive to presidency. “War on terror” that US has conducted clearly demonstrates what threats stem from unilateral power. Although terrorist attacks since 9/11 have not resulted in the deaths of thousands, attackers demonstrate their media savvy by choosing symbolically central locations for their assaults. These incidents have sufficed, however, to catalyze draconic revisions in antiterrorist legislation in both Britain and France. It is not hard to imagine what might happen when mass death is a real threat. Global pandemic of 2020 has made this fantasy a reality. Governments around the world are applying emergency powers. The foregoing essay by Bruce Ackerman, excerpted from another leading legal scholar’s Cass R. Sunstein’s book is an opinion on what is necessary to sustain the similar power of the US president, how sufficient the judiciary is and what role the political branches play in creating a democratic system of checks and balances.