Join the Hoover Book Club for engaging discussions with leading authors on the hottest policy issues of the day. Hoover scholars explore the latest books that delve into some of the most vexing policy issues facing the United States and the world. Find out what makes these authors tick and how they think we should approach our most difficult challenges.
In our latest installment, watch a discussion between Bill Whalen, the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Distinguished Policy Fellow in Journalism and Morris P. Fiorina, a senior fellow and author of the recently released Hoover Institution Press book Who Governs? Emergency Powers in the Time of COVID on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 10:00 am PT/ 1:00pm ET.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Morris P. Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His current research focuses on elections and public opinion with particular attention to the quality of representation: how well the positions of elected officials reflect the preferences of the public.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In a democracy, the legitimacy of authority derives from the consent of the governed. Constitutions or long-standing norms typically impose constraints on government authority, but under extraordinary circumstances—emergencies—normal and procedural standards can be overridden or suspended. Such was the case when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in the spring of 2020. This book describes the emergency powers that existed in the American states at the start of the pandemic; shows how such powers were implemented; examines how courts, legislatures, and public opinion responded to the use of emergency powers; and considers the resulting tensions they exert on democratic governance.
Contributors provide a background on the legal justification for emergency powers and offer summaries of the executive orders that were in effect as of mid-2020 across the United States and its territories, with special attention paid to California and Texas. They also examine the role of federalism in helping or hampering policy responses tailored to local conditions; review public attitudes about the dangers of the coronavirus and appropriate responses to it; and raise further questions about emergency powers and democratic governance—questions that deserve serious consideration before the next emergency prompts another exercise of such powers.