The President’s oath of office is to the laws and constitution. He/she is not the sole receptacle of the power of the executive branch of the executive branch of the United States government. Attorney General Barr has embraced the opposite view. But Bernadette Meyler (Stanford Law) has amplifed the argument tellingly stated by Fordham law profs Andrew Kent, Jed Shugerman, and Ethan Leib.
If you haven’t looked at this discussion I recommend that you take a good luck at this ongoing and very accessible discussion which began and continues in the pages of the Harvard Law Review. As officers of the court we are acutely aware of the limits of our authority – and of our duty of independence – bred of our oath to uphold the law. But by the fulsome embrace of the unitary executive theory which places all executive authority in a single person – not the office, but the person of the President – Attorney General Barr abdicates his duty. In his own words, he works under “presidential supervision” rather than as a protector of the people as sovereign. – gwc