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Who Has the Power to “Reopen” the Country?

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As the United States seems to begin to flatten its curve of new coronavirus cases, President Trump has claimed he has the authority to reopen the economy and the nation. Evaluating that claim in relation to both presidential power under Article II and state power under the 10th Amendment—professors John Yoo and Alison LaCroix join host Jeffrey Rosen. They give their takes on the president’s claims and conduct in the midst of coronavirus and evaluate what he can and can’t do in light of the system of separation of powers and federalism; comment on whether the president can or should withdraw from the World Health Organization, suspend immigration, and support citizen protests against governors; and place these contemporary debates in historical context.

A term that will be helpful to know for this week—federalism. Federalism is the constitutional division of power between U.S. state governments and the federal government. Professors Yoo and LaCroix detail the history of federalism and how it’s evolved from the founding to today.

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