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Constitutional Conflicts

Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: The Limits of Presidential Power

By
Maeva Marcus
Maeva Marcus

Maeva Marcus is Director and Editor of the Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789–1800.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-9887-5
Publication date:
1994

Government seizure of the nation’s strikebound steel mills on 8 April 1952 stands as one of President Harry S Truman’s most controversial actions, representing an unprecedented use of presidential power. On 8 June 1952 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Truman’s order with its monumental decision in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer. The history and significance of this case constitute the subject of Maeva Marcus’s meticulously researched, brilliantly analyzed, and authoritative study. From Truman’s initial assertion of "inherent" executive power under the Constitution to the High Court’s seven opinions, Marcus assesses the influence of the case on the doctrine of separation of powers and, specifically, the nature and practice of executive authority. First published in 1977 (Columbia University Press), and reissued here in paperback with a new foreword by Louis Fisher, this book remains the definitive account of the Steel Seizure incident and its political and legal ramifications.

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