The promise our next Speaker will make — and break

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November 6, 2018
We don’t know which party will win the majority in tomorrow’s midterms, and so we don’t know who will take the Speaker’s gavel from the retiring Paul Ryan. But, here’s… Read More

Book review: Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State

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October 25, 2018
Sir Paul Tucker is an unusual type. He is a consummate bureaucratic insider—a 30-year veteran of the Bank of England and now the chair of a group of ex-central bankers… Read More

Congress: Difficult by design

September 18, 2018
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once remarked that “the United States is the one nation in the world with a real legislature.” The senator from New York was boasting of our system, but… Read More

Polarization is an output of our process, not the cause of all our woes

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June 26, 2018
Our recent piece, “Congress is Broken. But don’t blame polarization,” provoked a number of useful discussions about how political scientists should interpret the results of empirical models like DW-NOMINATE. Read More

LegBranch Conversations: An interview with David Schoenbrod

June 12, 2018
David Schoenbrod is the Trustee Professor of Law at New York Law School. Over the course of his career, he has been a leading practitioner and scholar of environmental… Read More

When Congress won the American people’s respect: Watergate

April 26, 2018
Those of us who make our livings trying to improve the state of American politics must constantly strike a balance between realism and hopefulness. There are a lot of… Read More

Building Article I Conservatism

March 27, 2018
By Philip Wallach The Federalist Society has been famously influential in shaping conservatives’ constitutional vision since its founding in 1982. Its promotion of original-meaning originalism and the concept of… Read More

How intraparty organizations reshape Congress. A review of Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the U.S. Congress, by Ruth Bloch Rubin (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

February 8, 2018
  How can one legislator in 435, or even in 100, change the way things are done in his or her chamber? Putting aside the highly unusual cases where… Read More

What would heal Congress?

January 31, 2018
Congress as an institution faces a critical juncture. Continuing on its current path will make it an extraneous appendage, whose presence is tolerated only grudgingly, as a nod to… Read More

Ten ways to unsuck Congress

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January 30, 2018
“This place sucks.” Sen. Joe Manchin’s candid commentary came during discussions with Democratic leadership about whether the West Virginia senator would run for reelection. Manchin’s remarks were less a… Read More