Foreign Affairs Powers and “The First Crisis of the 21st Century”: Congressional vs. Executive Authority and the Stabilization Plan for Mexico

This Note discusses whether the United States can meet such a crisis under current legal arrangements. Can officials respond quickly, forcefully, and effectively? The Mexican Peso Crisis was the first test of this ability, and therefore is examined as a case study. As the United States attempted to respond to the crisis on its border, several questions about the practical and constitutional propriety of the effort emerged. There is clearly no longer a basic consensus surrounding security issues as existed in the Cold War years. Indeed, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, circumstances forced a president to take unilateral action by executive order when his appeal for Congressional intervention to dissolve an imminent security threat was met by a bipartisan wall of resistance. Such foreign affairs situations cast doubt on venerable principles like separation of powers and official accountability. With immediate action necessary in this new kind of economic crisis, do these principles threaten paralysis? What alternatives are there to protect against such a result?