Clearly, we live in a very different society from that of the founding period. Size of both population and territory, speed of communication, and America’s role in the world are but three examples of many differences. Equally clear is that these changes require adaptation, even if the original design was perfect. But how true have those changes been to the structure and spirit of that design? Have the required changes in practice been consciously or unconsciously used as a way to alter the original conception? What has been lost that would be valuable today? Are there better ways to adjust the Congressional role to major changes in society? Hypothetically, how would Congress handle a greatly increased volume of work in the unlikely event that the size of the government was halved, and could it do so without excessive reliance on the Administrative State? Is Congress dysfunctional today? If so, how can we improve it?
This panel was presented at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 13, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Showcase Panel II: The Living Congress: Adaptation or Decline?
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon
- Mr. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
- Prof. Neal E. Devins, Sandra Day O’Connor Professor of Law, Cabell Research Professor, Professor of Government, and Director, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, William & Mary Law School
- Prof. David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University
- Prof. Gillian E. Metzger, U.S. Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
- Prof. Neomi Rao, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
- Moderator: Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society
The Mayflower Hotel