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A new six-part podcast examining law and the presidency hosted by author Peter Shane of NYU Law features Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University dean Mark J. Rozell in an episode examining presidential secrecy.
Democracy’s Chief Executive, a free podcast available on popular podcasting platforms, debuts Presidents Day, February 20. Rozell’s episode drops Monday, February 27.
On the presidential secrecy episode, Shane, adjunct professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU Law, and Rozell jointly interview two other experts on government secrecy, Heidi Kitrosser, the William W. Gurley Professor of Law at Northwestern University, and Margaret Kwoka, the Lawrence Herman Professor in Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
“Our joint goal was to try to make the complex legal landscape surrounding executive privilege, classified information, and presidential records more understandable to the general public,” Shane explained.
Shane, a leading scholar on the presidency and separation of powers law, says he recruited Rozell to be his cohost on presidential secrecy because of the depth of the dean’s research into both the law and politics surrounding invocations of executive privilege.
“Mark Rozell is the go-to expert on presidential secrecy, not only because of his exceptional expertise, but also because he knows how to help make technical issues clear to a general audience,” Shane said. “Anyone interested in the presidency should have his fine text on the subject,” a reference to Rozell’s book, Executive Privilege: Presidential Power, Secrecy, and Accountability (University Press of Kansas), written with Mitchel A. Sollenberger.
Democracy’s Chief Executive was created to explore law’s reach and limits regarding the American presidency, and the people—lawyers, judges, and legislators—through whom law is brought to bear (or not) on the White House. The podcast’s title comes from Shane’s 2022 book, Democracy’s Chief Executive: Interpreting the Constitution and Defining the Future of the Presidency, published by the University of California Press.
According to Shane, the United States is undergoing a critical historical moment in the evolution of its constitutional presidency, which remains the world’s most powerful political office.
“Around the world, democracies are facing existential challenges in heading off authoritarianism as populist movements support political candidates who are indifferent or even hostile to the norms of checks and balances. Democracy’s Chief Executive, Shane says, “is intended to engage a wide public in probing the difficulties facing us in achieving a presidency that is healthy for democracy and the rule of law, but still strong and powerful enough to meet contemporary challenges.”
To get news about the series on Twitter, follow @demchiefexecpod.