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The Presidential Veto,


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Foreword Introduction 1 The Creation of the Veto Antecedents of the veto The English tradition The veto in America The federal convention Conclusion 2 Evolution of the Veto Power The first vetoes The Jacksonian veto Harrison and the Tyler crisis Polk and the maturing veto The end of the veto controversy Conclusion 3 The Modern Veto A summary assessment Empirical assessments Central clearance and the enrolled bill process Private bills and the veto The veto in the hands of modern presidents Two cases The veto threat Conclusion 4 The Pocket Veto How the pocket veto works What did the founders know, and when did they know it? Evolution of the pocket veto Persisting pocket veto ambiguities Must presidents explain pocket vetoes? When does the ten-day period begin? Conclusion 5 The Item Veto Controversy Definition Background Would the founders have approved? Evolution of the clamor for the item veto The item veto and the budget process Porkys, two? The gubernatorial item veto as a model The potency of existing veto powers Other powers that mimic the item veto What constitutes an item? Conclusion: Things are seldom what they seem... 6 Conclusion From monarch to plebiscitarian The veto: Power and symbol Appendix Notes References About the Author Index

About the Author

Robert J. Spitzer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at State University of New York College at Cortland. Author of The Presidency and Public Policy: The Four Arenas of Presidential Power and The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics, he is currently serving as a member of the New York State Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution.


"This is a clearly presented, well documented, balanced analysis. The author offers a great deal of information about the growth and use of the presidential veto. It is also a very useful book because it brings together much material on a widely studied topic." - Morris S. Ogul "This book is extremely well written. What I like most is the way the author explains the historical development of the veto power and makes it relevant to the present nature of the presidency. He presents enough detail to fully understand the context of developments, yet not so much detail as to bore the reader or lose sight of the main point he is making. The research is very thorough and the scholarship is sound. The book is interesting to read, and the author has a good sense of humor and a fine feeling for irony." - James P. Pfiffne

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