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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

We examine existing empirical studies addressing the intersection of American courts and the Executive and explore multiple aspects of dynamics between these two primary branches of government. We assay the literature on the formal powers of the president and how courts have shaped and adjusted the legal authority and reach of the federal executive. We also investigate how presidents can influence American public policy through less direct pathways such as agenda-setting. However, one of the president’s most renowned powers is that of appointment—and we assess how presidents have helped shape the landscape of American law through the appointment of judicial actors and consider the politics of the federal judicial selection process. Finally, we address the president’s primary legal arm—the Solicitor General’s Office—and investigate the office’s influence on Supreme Court policy-making.

Keywords: courts, executive, presidents, Solicitor General, appointment, agenda, public policy, empirical

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