Exploring Citizen Assessments of Executive Authority

Law and Society Review

Exploring Citizen Assessments of Executive Authority
Eileen Braman
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This study investigates the interaction between constitutional considerations and democratic context in evaluations of executive authority. An identical experiment is conducted using undergraduate and Mechanical Turk samples. A hypothetical article raising the question of executive power varies the (1) issue context, (2) expert assessment of constitutional authority, and (3) level of public support for proposed action. Measures of participants’ issue preferences and level of satisfaction with President Obama are also included in the analysis. Results indicate that participants think differently about the desirability and legitimacy of proposed executive action.



Law & Society Review 50(1):189-223.