government authority

I'm starting school again, this semester just going half time, and I'm taking two law classes. One is a general administrative law class (law and public affairs) and one is about election law.

The general law class has been fascinating so far, because I've already learned more about how government operates than I did in my entire public management class. Part of the reason for that, I think, is that government is essentially about authority...who has it, and where does it come from, which means that government is essentially about law. In other words, there isn't really a strict line between law and policy, or between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

I find this question of authority fascinating for some reason. I'm not sure why. I guess because I always find myself asking, "do they really have the power to do that?" This is particularly relevant these days in light of the push for greater executive branch authority by W and other Presidents. So, I always find myself asking, what exactly does the President do? And what can he (or she) do? It turns out to be a pretty complex set of questions.

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