Apologists for power: The Yoo Brief, executive power and the state of exception

Kampmark, B 2015, 'Apologists for power: The Yoo Brief, executive power and the state of exception', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 82-99.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Apologists for power: The Yoo Brief, executive power and the state of exception
Author(s) Kampmark, B
Year 2015
Journal name Australian Journal of Politics and History
Volume number 61
Issue number 1
Start page 82
End page 99
Total pages 18
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract This paper examines the legal and political arguments of those who support an expansive interpretation of US executive power in the face of threats to the state, taking a comparative historical perspective. It discusses the rationale for this approach by locating its historical origins in international and American jurisprudence, thereby placing them in a modern context. Attention is paid to the points made by various legal representatives of the Bush administration such as John Choon Yoo and Jay S. Bybee. Their views on an expansive response to state emergencies are based on a reading of executive power that informs the Bush administration's approach to law between 2001 and 2008. But this paper goes further in arguing that a common political-juridical ground exists between various critics of the Bush administration, and those who formulated the policies of torture and rendition. This common ground on the subject of executive power in response to emergency lies primarily in the examination of the state of exception examined by Giorgio Agamben. This approach has various implications as to the general exercise of power by the executive in a democratic system.
Subject Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
Political Theory and Political Philosophy
DOI - identifier 10.1111/ajph.12088
Copyright notice © 2015 The Author
ISSN 0004-9522
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