Horton On Kagan On Executive Power

A must-read on her rare article, "Presidential Administration":

This is a beautiful, extremely perceptive work, closely observed, brilliantly reasoned, and cautious. In it, Kagan notes the increase of presidential power as Congress builds the administrative and regulatory state. The powers that Congress vests in regulatory agencies are necessarily assumed and controlled by the president. Kagan writes as a detached observer, yet there is much to suggest her admiration for the evolution of the strong presidency in the period after World War II. Her career choices, often pushing back her academic career to accept appointments in Democratic administrations, reflect an attitude of engagement with it. All of this leads to the assumption that as a Supreme Court justice, Elena Kagan will be no enemy to the powers of the executive. As my readers know, I am not sympathetic to this attitude. But I am impressed with Kagan’s powers of analysis and presentation just the same. My suspicion–and it’s only a suspicion–is that Kagan is a liberal in the sense of the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, someone who has faith in the power of the executive to shape a better and more just state. She pays lip service to the limitations on executive authority contained in the Constitution, but she’s generally in the thrall of executive power.