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The George Mason International Law Journal

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This Article will begin by discussing the not entirely but still surprising rise of an unchecked presidential recognition power. As the Zivotofsky dissents noted, the Court had to reject various historical precedents supporting a meaningful role for Congress in the determination of state recognition. Such a role for Congress was wholly rejected in Zivotofsky.

The Article will then review the implications of this unchecked presidential power. It argues that it is possible, even likely, that this power will be used in a way that does not attempt to conform with international law and contradicts prior U.S. policy.

The Article concludes with an assessment of the costs and benefits of this unchecked, non-legalistic approach to state recognition by considering its possible effect on U.S. policy towards another territorial dispute that the U.S. is deeply concerned with: the international legal status of Taiwan. It suggests reasons that the presidential power of recognition is a double-edged sword for supporters of Taiwan.

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