Syracuse Law Symposium to Combat the Threat of “Executive Authoritarianism”

David Driesen

Important New Book by University Professor David Driesen— “The specter of dictatorship: judicial empowerment of the presidential power(Stanford, 2021) – reveals how the presidentialism of the United States Supreme Court threatens democracy and what the United States can do about it.

To celebrate the publication of the new book, Syracuse Law Review presents a one day conference which will address Driesen’s main themes in panels bringing together the country’s top jurists in constitutional law, the Supreme Court and the rule of law. The symposium, titled “Executive Authoritarianism,” will take place on November 12 from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom of Syracuse Law. The American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society are the co-sponsors of the event.

Driesen’s new book reflects on the political turmoil of recent years, in which many Americans have questioned whether America’s system of checks and balances was strong enough to withstand the onslaught of a despotic chief executive. .

To answer this question, Driesen analyzes the role of the chief executive in the democratic declines of Hungary, Poland and Turkey. He argues that an insufficiently constrained presidency is one of the most important systemic threats to democracy, and he urges the United States to learn from the mistakes of these failing democracies.

book cover "The specter of dictatorship"Driesen’s book is described as “A book for our troubled times” and “an eloquent and powerful account of the editors’ concern about” tyranny “” which “lays bare the previously underestimated role played by Unit Executive Theory in emerging processes. democratic erosion course. “

Moderated by Syracuse law professor Kristen Barnes, the first panel will examine “the unitary executive, autocracy and American history” with Jed Shugerman of Fordham University Law School; Jennifer Mascott of Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; and Noah Rosenblum of New York University Law School

Syracuse law professor Mark P. Nevitt will moderate the second panel. Speaking to “The Supreme Court’s Embrace of Executive Power” will be Julian Mortenson of the University of Michigan Law School; Tom Keck of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University; and Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota Law School.

The final panel will look at “Reforming Presidentialism: Comparative and National Perspectives” with moderator, Professor C. Cora True-Frost of Syracuse Law and panelists Andrea Katz of Washington University Law School; Cem Tecimer of Harvard Law School; and Robert Tsai of Boston University Law School.

To consult the complete agenda and to register, go to

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