The Senate is Broken, But Republicans Didn’t Break It

Senate Republicans invoking the nuclear option and requiring a simple majority for the approval of Supreme Court nominees has engendered a great deal of hysterical handwringing. Indeed, the terminology seems to demand such an overly dramatic response. The histrionics gets one point correct: the integrity of the Senate as a body has been utterly destroyed. However, it was not Republicans (who in fact were simply expanding a precedent Harry Reid set in 2013) who bear…

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The Electoral College Is Not Democratic. And That’s Just Fine.

America is not a democracy. To be precise, it is a nationally-federated constitutional republic. This distinction, however, has sadly been largely erased from the national lexicons, pointed out only by those who are immediately dismissed and scornfully labelled a pedant. Yet, that this is not an issue of semantics is all too evident in the reaction to the presidential election. Anti-Trump protestors, justifying their histrionics by babbling about “democracy!”, claim the election was stolen by…

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How the death of federalism has affected understanding of the Bill of Rights

Debate over the Constitution has devolved over the past couple of centuries from an eloquent discourse, sometimes sophistic, to petty academic quibbling over whether emphasis on the Bill of Rights belongs to the powers denied the federal government or to those unenumerated and left in the hands of the states and people. The context of this latter position has been further obliterated since New Deal days as a shift in Constitutional interpretation has emphasized the…

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The evolving debate over personality versus structure in government failure

Anyone who’s ever taken a basic civics class is familiar with the idea that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution in response to the systemic weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. The lies vaunted leaders such as George Washington and James Madison told the public at the time about the Philadelphia Committee simply reforming, rather than replacing, the Articles are justified by the supposed exigency which existed in the federal government’s ability to respond to…

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