The Expansion of Executive Powers in Response to the Threat of Bioterrorism Against Individuals and Agribusiness

8 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2015

See all articles by Samuel William Bettwy

Samuel William Bettwy

Thomas Jefferson School of Law; USD School of Law

Date Written: January 3, 2015

Abstract

This paper examines and compares, in historical context, these two expansions of governmental authority in response to threats of bioterrorism, one of which is aimed directly at people, the other of which is aimed directly at agribusiness. The examination reveals that there is a historical, natural tendency of the executive branch to expand its powers and that the legislative and judicial branches tend to defer to the executive branch during emergencies. The comparison reveals that, although there is such a natural attempt by the executive branch to expand its powers, such expansion has yielded more to concerns over individual rights and liberties than it has to concerns over actual and potential costs to commerce. This difference can be explained by the much greater constitutional authority that the federal government enjoys over commercial activity. A review of the literature reveals that, as a result, the expansion and consolidation of executive powers due to concerns over WMD attacks, bioterrorist and agroterrorist attacks in particular, has been considerable. The measures taken have tended to respect the limits of governmental power vis-à-vis individual freedoms, rights and privacy, whereas agribusiness stands to sustain considerable losses, due to governmental action in response to an actual or suspected agroterrorist attack.

Keywords: Terrorism, Agroterrorism, Bioterrorism, WMD, Weapons of Mass Destruction, FDA, Food and Drug Administration

Suggested Citation

Bettwy, Samuel William, The Expansion of Executive Powers in Response to the Threat of Bioterrorism Against Individuals and Agribusiness (January 3, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544796 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2544796

Samuel William Bettwy (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

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