Feb. 20th, Trump makes history!

On Presidents’ Day of all days, Monday, Feb. 20th will mark Trump’s 31st day in office, tying William Henry Harrison for the number of days serve. Harrison died on his 31st day, not because of his interminably long inauguration speech, but because D.C. was literally a swamp in 1841, and he had a fatal GI bug. (Drain THAT swamp!)

So now that Trump won’t set a record for the shortest presidency, will he pass the second shortest ever? Garfield is 2d, serving 199 days, Zachary Taylor is 3d, serving 492, and Harding served 881. I’m hoping the news about the FBI and congressional investigations will help shake up that list. Lincoln and Washington are rolling in their monuments.

Author: Jed Shugerman

Jed Handelsman Shugerman is a Professor at Fordham Law School. He received his B.A., J.D., and Ph.D. (History) from Yale. His book, The People’s Courts (Harvard 2012), traces the rise of judicial elections, judicial review, and the influence of money and parties in American courts. It is based on his dissertation that won the 2009 ASLH’s Cromwell Prize. He is co-author of amicus briefs on the history of presidential power, the Emoluments Clauses, the Appointments Clause, the First Amendment rights of elected judges, and the due process problems of elected judges in death penalty cases. He is currently working on two books on the history of executive power and prosecution in America. The first is tentatively titled “A Faithful President: The Founders v. the Unitary Executive,” questioning the textual and historical evidence for the theory of unchecked and unbalanced presidential power. This book draws on his articles “Vesting” (Stanford Law Review forthcoming 2022), “Removal of Context” (Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 2022), a co-authored “Faithful Execution and Article II” (Harvard Law Review 2019 with Andrew Kent and Ethan Leib), “The Indecisions of 1789” (forthcoming Penn. Law Review), and “The Creation of the Department of Justice,” (Stanford Law Review 2014). The second book project is “The Rise of the Prosecutor Politicians: Race, War, and Mass Incarceration,” focusing on California Governor Earl Warren, his presidential running mate Thomas Dewey, the Kennedys, World War II and the Cold War, the war on crime, the growth of prosecutorial power, and its emergence as a stepping stone to electoral power for ambitious politicians in the mid-twentieth century.

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