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Presidential Power

Readings and resources concerning presidential power.

UW Law Panel at Town Hall Seattle

Presidential Power in 2017

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Town Hall Seattle: The Great Hall

Presidential transitions raise a host of important questions. Among them, how much power does a President have? In what ways will an incoming President exercise that power? And how, if at all, can individuals participate in the political process once the election is over?

The University of Washington School of Law invites members of the public to join a panel of scholars to discuss the scope, and limits, of presidential power in modern politics. Topics include how President Trump plans to exercise power in his own administration and how members of the public can remain engaged, beyond the ballot box, in the political process.

Featuring UW Law Professors:

Robert (Bob) Anderson, expert in environmental law and natural resource law
Angélica Cházaro, expert in immigration law
Trevor Gardner, expert in criminal law
Sallie Thieme Sanford, expert in health care law
Kathryn A. Watts, expert in administrative law and presidential power

Moderator: Professor Lisa Manheim, expert in election law

Register here for the event. Update (Jan. 27): the event was sold out and was streamed live. Watch the recording:

An audio recording of the panel is on KUOW's Speakers Forum.

American Crown: The History and Growth of Presidential Power

March 28, 2107, 7-8:30 pm
Naked City Brewery and Taphouse, Seattle

The president’s powers have expanded greatly since the founding of the United States, with a particularly rapid growth streak beginning in the mid-20th century. From George W. Bush’s signing statements to Obama’s drone strikes to undeclared wars waged by most recent presidents, how did we get here? Is this growth motivated solely by power for power’s sake, or does the modern world, with its more complex and rapidly changing landscape, necessitate a more agile and powerful executive branch? And what do these stronger powers mean for the Trump presidency? Join us as we explore the scope, limits, and history of presidential powers, and examine their constitutional checks and balances. This Think and Drink features University of Washington Law professor Lisa Marshall Manheim and David Ziff, and will be moderated by KUOW’s Ross Reynolds.

Presented by Humanities Washington and KUOW, part of the "Think & Drink" series.

UW Law in the Media: Nov.-Dec. 2016

Gene Johnson, 'Sanctuary cities' vow to protect immigrants from Trump plan, AP (Nov. 15, 2016) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Erin Durkin, Here’s how Trump’s plan to defund sanctuary cities could play out, Daily News (N.Y.) (Nov. 23, 2016) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Petr Svab, Dakota Access Pipeline: Behind the Standoff at Standing Rock, Epoch Times (Dec. 16, 2016) (quotes Prof. Bob Anderson)

Hugh Spitzer, "Sanctuary Cities" to Find Sanctuary in the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, Jurist (Dec. 30, 2016)

UW Law in the Media: Jan.-Feb. 2017

How the Supreme Court could derail Trump's plan to punish sanctuary cities like Seattle, KUOW (Jan. 17, 2017) (interview with Prof. Hugh Spitzer) (4:32)

How Much Power Does a President Have? (KING5, Jan. 18, 2017) (interview with Prof. Kathryn Watts) (3:40)

Seattle ‘won’t be bullied,’ will fight Trump’s sanctuary-city order, mayor says, Seattle Times (Jan. 25, 2017) (quotes Prof. Angélica Cházaro)

Andy Hobbs, Olympia mayor vows to defy Trump ‘sanctuary city’ threat, Olympian (Jan. 26, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

Sydney Brownstone, Washington State's Attorney General Is Suing the Trump Administration Over Its Travel Ban, The Slog (The Stranger's Blog) (Jan. 30, 2017) (quotes Prof. Kathryn Watts)

Nina Shapiro, ‘I actually wept:’ Lawyers’ frantic efforts stop a plane, allow 2 men to enter U.S. at Sea-Tac, Seattle Times (Jan. 30, 2017) (mentions Prof. Kathryn Watts)

Ruby de Luna, How Washington state's attorney general challenged Trump's travel ban, KUOW (Jan. 31, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

Melissa Santos, Can Trump Withhold Money from Sanctuary Cities? Some Question Legality of Order, News Tribune (Jan. 31, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

Paula Wissel, Questions About Presidential Powers? This UW Law School Website Has Answers, KNKX (Feb. 1, 2017) (quotes Mary Whisner)

Evan Thompson, Sanctuary city? Yea or nay, Langley council to decide Monday, S. Whidbey Record (Feb. 4, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

Josh Farley, Kitsap's 'sanctuary' status a gray area, Kitsap Sun (Feb. 4, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

Nina Shapiro, Travel ban: Local attorneys say feds got tough questions from judges, but so did the state, Seattle Times (Feb. 7, 2017) (quotes Prof. Kathryn Watts)

[Interview about Executive Orders], K13 (Feb. 9, 2017) (interviewing Prof. Kathryn Watts)

Christina Sterbenz, Taking the pipeline to court, Vice News (Feb. 9, 2017) (quotes Prof. Bob Anderson)

Derek Hawkins & Fred Barbash, Travel ban ruling: In court as on Twitter, Trump confronts evidence gap, Wash. Post (Feb. 10, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Amy Radil, The 9th Circuit Court's slapdown of Trump's travel ban, KUOW (Feb. 10, 2017) (quotes Prof. Kathryn Watts)

Sara Randazzo, Washington Lawyer’s Win Over Trump Immigration Ban Brings Sudden Fame, Wall St. J. (Feb. 10, 2017) (quote Prof. Lisa Manheim)

Mike Lewis, The Atticus Effect: Has Trump made attorneys popular again?, My Northwest (KIRO Radio) (Feb. 16, 2017) (quotes Dean Kellye Testy and Political Science Prof. Michael McCann, who has an adjunct appointment in UW Law)

Evan Thompson, SW Record examines complex sanctuary debate, S. Whidbey Record (Feb. 17, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer

Timothy Kenney, Is DACA over? 5 questions for an immigration attorney, Seattle Globalist (Feb. 22, 2017) (interview with Prof. Angélica Cházaro)

, KIRO News 7 (Feb. 23, 2017) (quotes Prof. Trevor Gardner)

Sasha Jenkins, Rethinking modern immigration policy, Daily (UW) (Feb. 23, 2017) (quotes Prof. Christine Cimini)

UW Law in the Media: March-April 2017

Debra Cassens Weiss, Law dean sees opportunity in rising popularity of lawyers, thanks to Donald Trump, ABA J. (online)  (March 1, 2017) (quotes Dean Kellye Testy)

Jim Brunner, Trump’s new travel ban avoids some legal pitfalls but not all, local experts say, Seattle Times (March 6, 2017) (quotes Prof. Lisa Manheim)

Liz Jones & Ruby de Luna, Washington state to Trump: Nope, travel ban still unconstitutional, KUOW (March 9, 2017) (quotes Prof. Emeritus Stewart Jay)

Chris Lindahl, Fight over Mashpee tribe’s land, casino continues in Trump era, Cape Cod Times (March 15, 2017) (quotes Prof. Bob Anderson)

Derek Hawkins, Trump’s talk — ‘Muslim ban,’ ‘Islam hates us’ — comes back to bite him in court again, Wash. Post (March 16, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Federal pot crack down would ‘divert marijuana into the black market,' northwest governors write, KIRO 7 News (April 3, 2017) (quotes Prof. Trevor Gardner)

UW Law in the Media: May-June 2017

Cristin Wilson, Trump and the Constitution, ABA J. (May 1, 2017) (discusses Professor Watts and Knudsen's class)

Ambreen Ali, Power Players, Seattle Magazine, May 2017, at 34-35 (discusses Professor Watts and Knudsen's class) (no link available)

Cristin Wilson, Trump and the Constitution: Law course explores the limits of executive power, ABA J. (May 2017) (discusses Professor Watts and Knudsen's class)

Jim Camden, Replace Trump with Pence under the 25th Amendment? Don’t hold your breath, Spokesman Review (May 18, 2017) (quotes Prof. Hugh Spitzer)

UW Law in the Media: July-Aug. 2017

Sadie Gurman & Gene Johnson,, AP (July 28, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Hugh Spitzer, What if President Trump can’t do the job? Here’s the Constitutional answer, Seattle Times (Aug. 10. 2017)

UW Law in the Media: Sept.-Oct. 2017

Laura Crimaldi, , Boston Globe (Sept. 6, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Alexandra Wilts,, Independent (Sept. 6, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Mary Fan, , Fortune (Sept. 7, 2017)

UW Law in the Media: Nov.-Dec. 2017

Jenna Hanchard, UW community rallies for student held at NW Detention Center, KING TV (Nov. 29, 2017) (quotes Chris Strawn, director of UW Law's Immigration Law Clinic)

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher & Martha Bellisle, Appeals Court: Trump Exceeded Authority With Travel Ban, USA Today (via AP) (Dec. 23, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

Judge's partial lifting of Trump ban gives refugees hope, ABC News (via AP) (Dec. 24, 2017) (quotes Prof. Mary Fan)

UW Law in the Media: Jan.-Feb. 2018

"Can the President do that?": New book from UW professors answers the question, KOMO News (Jan. 12, 2018) (interview with Prof. Kathryn Watts and Prof. Lisa Manheim) (audio)

What's the limit of presidential powers? New book by UW profs has answers, KING TV (Jan. 16, 2018) (interview with Kathryn Watts)

Heidi Groover, “I Am Not Going to Stop,” Pledges Local Immigration Activist Targeted by ICE, Slog (The Stranger Blog) (Jan. 16, 2018) (quotes Alejandra Gonza, director of UW Law's International Human Rights Clinic)

Lisa Marshall Manheim, The Constitution has stopped Trump -- so far, CNN (Jan. 17, 2018)

Kim Eckart, Can the President Really Do That?, UW News (Jan. 18, 2018) (story about Manheim's and Watts's book)

What Are the Limits of Presidential Power?, New Day Northwest, KING TV (Jan. 19, 2018) (interview with Kathryn Watts)

Lisa Manheim & Kathryn Watts, Can the President Really Do That?, Yes Magazine (Jan. 23, 2018)

Peter Jackson, Can Trump really do that? UW profs look at presidential power, Crosscut (Jan. 29, 2018) (interview with Kathryn Watts)

Kathryn A. Watts, It’s up to Congress, not the president, to fix DACA, Seattle Times (Feb. 1, 2018)

Kenneth Jost, Book Review: The Limits of Presidential Power: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law, Wash. Independent Review of Books (Feb. 6, 2018) (reviewing Manheim's and Watts's book)