Questions About Presidential Powers? This UW Law School Website Has Answers | KNKX

Questions About Presidential Powers? This UW Law School Website Has Answers

Feb 1, 2017

From travel bans to trade policy, President Donald Trump’s actions in his first weeks in office have raised questions about presidential powers. The University of Washington School of Law is trying to provide some answers through a class and a website.

Shortly after President Trump was elected, two UW law professors came up with the idea. Why not offer a course on presidential power?

As soon the class was publicized, according to librarian Mary Whisner, "it filled up and developed a waiting list."

And, she says, it wasn't just law students clamoring to get in.

"As soon as word got out, people from other university departments and people who weren't affiliated with the university said, 'Oh, great, can I sit in, can I audit your class? Can I have your reading list?'" Whisner said.

So, Whisner, who is the research services librarian at the UW Gallagher Law Library, developed a website, a place the public could go to see books, articles and other materials from the course. She says the website is not a collection of political opinions.

"Rather, it looks at what reliable informed sources say about the legal aspects," she said. 

There are also basic explanations of things like presidential executive orders. Whisner says she's always adding new material based on what’s happening in the news.

The UW law school is hosting a forum titled "Presidential Powers in 2017" on Wednesday, February 1, at 7 p.m. at Seattle's Town Hall. The event is sold out, but will be streamed live on the UW YouTube channel.