Poli Sci 104 CREATEDATE 1/19/10 11:01 AM Course organization Foundations of American government, and institutional structure: constitutionalism, separation of powers Participation and organization ; elections interest groups, voting The policy process: how does the government decide what to do and how does it do it? Individual rights vs collective necessity Central themes Inherent Dilemmas of politics, requiring constant balancing Can not have everything all at once, more of one less than another Local vs national interests and needs Individual rights vs collective necessity Safe from? limits Different conceptions of public good Contradictory nature of our relationship with government We are suspicious of centralized power But we like having lots of government programs Complexity Key Questions Do we even need a government? Why? What are the foundations of legitimate government? Why is legitimacy important? What forms can a government take? Unique. Not another government not like ours, why our system developed the way it did How do citizens influence what government does? Why have government? Alternative to the state of nature Without some form of a collective ability Some things that individuals and groups have trouble doing on their own Maintaining order and security Making sure you are not constantly at risk. Sense of stability and order Make and enforce collective descisions Protect private property Protecting individual autonomy Provide public goods Implications The existence of government-a mechanism for collective and authoritative decision making-implies several things Make and enforce group decisions Mechanism for deciding what the government will do. Some kinda of decision rule to make collective decisions Some kind of process to implement those decisions State of the Union Address Signals about what will happen next year Legislative priorities(economy, jobs, banking) Future of health care reform Various aid programs for middle class More tentions in Health Care Key problem-inability of people with preexisting conditions to get affordable health insurance They deny health care to people who have a preexisting conditions. Ie cancer- wont sell you a policy if they know you will cost them a lot of money Almost impossible- or very very expensive One way tot solve: just prohibit insures from denying coverage or charging high rates to people with preexistind conditions Senate- allowec insurance companies to charge more but still allowed them to buy health insurance. But that requires a mandate- requirements that everybody have health insurance Makes a lot of people unhappy, Freedom and power problem Better off as a society if everyone had health insurance- Now forcing people ? infigment Otherwise people will simply wait until they get sick before purchasing insurance- since they cant be denied coverage because they are already sick Creates impossible problem for insurance companies But the mandate is itself very unpopular Simpilest solution- has the government as soul provider of health insurance. Individual and Group Behavior Individual rationality pretty easy to grasp (you do what you prefer, generally) No tentions, problems, delemas What happens in groups of rational individuals? Group action is much more complicated thant indiviual action Different people might have different goals, utilities Importance of process for chaping outcomes You are decideing where you want to have coffee Your options are Starbuskc of Fair Trade Coffee-reasons? Closer? Cheaper? Better coffee? Local Business? Eliminating all other alternatives Ability to select the alternatives- political power You prefer to go to Fair Trade , so that?s where you go- simple Process Much more complicated if lunch is a group activity 2 person example- you wan tto go to starbuscks, you best friend wants to go to Fair trade how do you resolve the disagreement? Obvious- Majority vote- Tie, then what? Possible decision rules: Coin flip decided-random muddling Go to the nearest place-minimize effort Alternate- log rolling Alternate location0 compromise Winner pays for losers coffee-pay off Bigger person uses physical force- coercion You don?t have coffee-default Existing system stays in place Add More complexity Add a third person to the group Non tribial problem. New decision option ? majority vote? What happens if the vote is always 2-1 in favor of Starbucks and you hate going there? Decision rule we think of is most fair is not flawless Require unity- all have to agree on an outcome Everyone has a say Gives greater power to individuals Scaling Up: Election rules ? Common rule in democracies: resolve disagreements through some kind of voting process Majority Rule Different Aggregations-Electorial college Plurality Rule Proportional Representation Basics of Government Structure ? General term is constitutional, representative democracy (or constitutional republic) ? System in which citizens choose people to make most government decisions, but retain control over government through regular elections formal limits on government power Specified decision rules for resolving disputes Other options? ? Other ways of doing this: pure democray-direct publie consent required for government action Aristocracy/monarchy-power exercised by familial lines, propertied classes. Divine Right Totalitarianism-no limits on government power, control by force Theocracy-rule by religious principles, clerics Why This System? ? Consider rules of political action: purposive, history matters, rules matter ? Relationship to political culture Role of Political Culture ? Shared set of fundamental values and beliefs about politics and citizenship ? Elements of traditional definition ? American Political Identity ? Different views on what it means to be an ?American? ? Fidelity to an idea? (constitutionalism) ? Moralistic, individualistic, traditionalist? (Elazar) ? An American version of British tradition, with a particular religious and political views ? protestant, instead of catholic, British instead of French or Spanish, assimilation instead of allegiance to homeland (Huntington) ? Liberalism that evolves (Menand) Contemporary Relevance ? Role of recent immigration patterns Constructing a New Government ? Function of Why ?Representative Democracy?? ? Goal: ?refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens? (Madison) The Dilemma ? The major difficulty the Framers faced was how they could create a government that had enough power to take effective action when necessary, but which would not abuse its power and trample on important individual freedoms. ? Note this is exactly the freedom and power problem Dilemma, continued ? The problem is that contemporary political theory held that this was impossible The Origins of the Constitution ? Not the first U.S. government; succeeded the Articles of Confederation, which was created in 1777 The Origins of the Constitution ? Objections to British rule set out in Declaration of independence ? Idea behind declaration was that a citizenry had the right to dissolve the government over it (a radical idea at the time), but that ?a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation? Objections to British Rule ? Set out in Declaration ? important early statement of Locke?s theory of ?natural rights? ? Citizens vs. subjects: people do not serve the government; government serves the people From Theory to Practice ? These ideas about government found their way into the Constitution in three ways The Origins of the Constitution ? ?First Draft? was the Articles of Confederation, established in 1777 Problems with Articles ? National government was weak; too much power retained by the states Washington on Shay?s Rebellion ? ?I am mortified beyond expression that in the moment of our acknowledged independence we should by our conduct verify the predictions of our transatlantic foe, and render ourselves ridiculous and contemptible in the eyes of all Europe? Federalist 15 ? Why Read the Federalist Papers? Federalist 15, cont?d: ?Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union? ? ?Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.? ? We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which we do not experience State of Union Address ? NYT- a does of reality, a bid to restore magic Constructing a New Government ? Function of colonial experience and dissatisfaction with British colonial rule interests at stake existing institutions(chiefly colonial governments/states) people connected themselves to the colonies political theory and culture, views about the proper aims of government pragmatism ?number of decisions were designed to keep the union together Why ?Representative Democracy?? Framers distrusted popular will Had a large number of anti democratic Idea that body politic is unqualified to exercise judgment on many matters, so we elect leaders who decide questions for us Delegate to them the power to make laws through the constitution Goal-refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens (Madison) The Dilemma The major difficulty the Framers faced was how they could create a government that had enough power to take effective action when necessary, but which would not abuse its power and trample on important individual freedoms. Note this is exactly the freedom and power problem The problem is that contemporary political theory held that this was impossible Representative democracy (Republicanism) inevitably degenerated into: Tyranny-concentration of government power, with majority trampling minority anarchy and chaos The Origins of the Constitution ? Not the first U.S. government; succeeded the Articles of Confederation, which was created in 1777 The Origins of the Constitution Objections to British rule set out in Declaration of independence 2 notable features 1- holds people to have rights from simply being 2-setting out the justification of monarch rule Idea behind declaration was that a citizenry had the right to dissolve the government over it (a radical idea at the time), but that ?a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation? Objections to British Rule Set out in Declaration Abrogated power of representative bodies Imposing taxes without consent Depriving colonist of trial by jury Rendered military independence of an superior to, the civil power important early statement of Locke?s theory of ?natural rights? idea-same natural rights from GB, that implications to natural rights often the rights have to do with particular policies abortion Citizens vs. subjects: people do not serve the government; government serves the people Under the traditional governing laws- serve the interests of the government Theory- government serves the people From Theory to Practice These ideas about government found their way into the Constitution in three ways 1. Limited gorvernment-written constitution, formal limits on government power if hard to change- offers limited sense of government sets limits 2. Federal government-with power divided between the nation and state governments exercises powers, mutually exclusive by creating a natural government- people were not 3. Representative government-with legitimacy derived from popular consent ultimately the people are sovern these features help in insuring an equalibrisim makes sure power is not going to be misused The Origins of the Constitution ?First Draft? was the Articles of Confederation, established in 1777 Articles created a national unicameral legislature with lawmaking power, with each state having one vote in the Continental Congress each state had delegations each had a single vote No executive branch: states responsible for implementing laws continental congress would make a decision- states must enforce it loose confederation, lacks compasity to enforce decisions Problems with Articles National government was weak; too much power retained by the states States were the ultimate political authority States could conduct their own foreign relations, currency, interstate affairs National government had no power to collect revenues States retains sovereignty Problems with interstae commerce, uniform enforcement of laws No way to enforce a interstate code Not serving the interests The 2nd Founding Meeting in Annapolis in Fall of 1786, resulted in call on Congress to send delegates to Philadelphia to consider unspecified changes to the Articles Shay?s rebellion (from 1786 to early 1787) crystallized concerns that government was too weak, was vulnerable to foreign threats, and could not protect property rights or keep popular passions in check (among other things) Strengthened calls for reform, provided key impetus for constitutional convention that convened in Philadelphia in May 1787 There delegates decided to scarap articles and draft entirely new constitution Irony is that they had no authority to do this Crystallize the views- that central government was week- showed they were unable to collect property rights Fear that the example of popular passions get out of control Washington on Shay?s Rebellion ? ?I am mortified beyond expression that in the moment of our acknowledged independence we should by our conduct verify the predictions of our transatlantic foe, and render ourselves ridiculous and contemptible in the eyes of all Europe? Federalist 15 ? Why Read the Federalist Papers? Federalist 15, cont?d: ?Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union? ? ?Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.? ? We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride or degrade the character of an independent nation which we do not experience Kammen ? It is easy to forget that the Philadelphia Convention vastly exceeded its authority, and that the men who met there undertook what amounted to a usurpation of legitimate authority. As [FDR] pointed out in on Constitution Day in 1937, contemporaries who opposed the newly drafted document ?insisted that the Constitution itself was unconstitutional under the Articles of Confederation. But the ratifying conventions overruled them? Drafting the Constitution ? Delegates wanted to strengthen national government, but still concerned about tyranny ? Most effort put into Drafting the Constitution ? Several pivotal decisions that resolved deadlocks ? First: Great Compromise and balancing interests of large states vs. small. ? Note this language: ?compromise,? conveys that final decision was a middle ground between two positions Drafting the Constitution ? Second: the Three-Fifths Compromise. ? ? Necessary to retain support of Southern states Framers as Pragmatists ? Many decisions about constitutional structure and powers dictated by need for compromise, not solely principle Basic Structure ? Articles I-III, powers of different branches ? legislature, executive judicial ? Article IV: state powers with respect to each other; admission of new states ? Article V - amendment process ? Article VI - honoring debts; supremacy of federal law, oaths ? Article VII - ratification ? 4, 384 words Ratification ? Once drafted, the Constitution had to be put to the states for a vote (9/13 needed) ? sharp debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over issues of state vs. national power, representation, limited government Ratification, Continued ? Anti-Federalists also argued that the Constitution failed to establish limits on government authority -- insisted on a ?bill of rights? (which the Federalists agreed to) ? Constitution sent to states in September 1787; Ninth state ratified in June 1788, but New York and Virginia didn?t ratify until shortly after Key Institutional Innovations ? Separation of Powers: division of government powers into separate institutions ? Federalism: different levels of government (state, national) The great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of others. . . Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. . . In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficult lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. Madison, Federalist 51 Separation of Powers ? designed to prevent concentration of power in any one branch/individual ? Separated and overlapping powers among institutions Q&D Definition ? Legislative power: power to make laws (binding rules) ? Executive Power: power to implement and enforce laws ? Judicial Power Separation, continued ? Further subdivisions: Different constituencies, electoral cycles, selection process Court Cases ? At back of Enduring Debate ? McCullough v. Maryland p. 670 ? U.S. v. Lopez p. 689 Fiscal 2011 Federal Budget Total-$3.834 trillion(about 25.1% of GDP) Gives a sense of what will happen in the next couple of years Assumption about future policy and choices Ending 2001 tax cuts for household over $250k income Assumes about 4% real economic growth through 2015 Unemployment rate remains about 6% until 2015 3 year freeze on some discretionary spending, increase limited to inflation social security spending determined in previous year Framers as Pragmatists ? Many decisions about constitutional structure and powers dictated by need for compromise, not solely principle ? Though choices were guided by notions of legitimacy and philosophy ? Examples ? Unequal representation in Senate ? Electoral College ? Slavery (this eventually proved to be an issue that could not be resolved through normal political channels) Basic Constitutional Structure ? Articles I-III, powers of different branches legislature, executive judicial ? Article IV: state powers with respect to each other; admission of new states ? Article V - amendment process ? Article VI - honoring debts; supremacy of federal law, oaths ? Article VII - ratification ? 4, 384 words Ratification Once drafted, the Constitution had to be put to the states for a vote (9/13 needed) sharp debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over issues of state vs. national power, representation, limited government to much power from the states- then pose a threat to a terany anti-federalists opposed centralized government, wanted states to retain more power arguing about the choices that are possible no alternative to the articles, no separate proposal- alternatives were the constitution. Go back to the old system problem: no unified support for any alternative to proposed constitution default- nothing that was not in the constituion, wanted expressed limits Ratification, Continued Anti-Federalists also argued that the Constitution failed to establish limits on government authority -- insisted on a ?bill of rights? (which the Federalists agreed to) Constitution sent to states in September 1979, 9th state ratified in June 1788 but new york and Virginia didn?t ratify until shortly after New government vonvened in March 1789 Bill of rights adopted in 1791- 1st ten constitutional amendments Key Institutional Innovations Separation of Powers: division of government powers into separate institutions More properly- multiple institutions sharing powers Horizontal dispersion of power ? Federalism: different levels of government (state, national) compound republic vertical dispersion The great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of others. . . Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. . . In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficult lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. Madison, Federalist 51 Separation of Powers designed to prevent concentration of power in any one branch/individual always the potential for one of the other branches to oversee the other Separated and overlapping powers among institutions each branch has some power to block action by the others separate institutions sharing powers Makes the governming process inefficient Q&D Definition ? Legislative power: ? Executive Power: ? Judicial Power ? Separation, continued ? Further subdivisions: Different constituencies, electoral cycles, selection process ? Separation of Powers ? Effect is to force compromise and bargaining among branches ? Additional Checks: ? Contemporary Issues ? No precise definition of legislative, executive, judicial powers ? Lots of overlap: ? Judicial Review ? Power to invalidate acts of legislature or executive as inconsistent with Constitution ? 2002: Congress passes major campaign finance reform law (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, or McCain-Feingold) Citizens United ? In 2008, a political organization (Citizens United) wanted to promote a movie called Hillary: The Movie, which was highly critical of Clinton Supreme Court Case ? Existing court precedents held that corporations could be prohibited from spending money in elections (at least 2 major cases) Response? ? Possible responses: ? ? Can?t simply re-enact the law Importance ? Lawmaking and governing process doesn?t have an easily identifiable endpoint ? Ongoing process of negotiation, interbranch responses, ? Significant or radical change is difficult ? Federalism ? Further division of power Federalism ? Powers explicitly reserved to national gov: ? ? Powers reserved to the states: ? ? Neither state nor the national government may: violate the Bill of Rights, etc. Interstate Commerce ? Strictly speaking, commerce that occurs completely within a single state is not subject to federal oversight, regulation, or control ? Until the 1930s, the Supreme Court interpreted this clause narrowly ? Evolution ? Expansion of federal power, relative to states ? Big jumps: 1880s, 1930s, 60s-70s ? ? Supremacy of federal law (McCullough v. Maryland) McCullough v. Maryland ? 1819 Supreme Court case Changing Notions of Federalism ? Dual Federalism (1789-1930s) Post-1937 Federalism ? Increased federal gov. power (changing interpretations of commerce clause) ? Creation of new links ? Reinterpretation of the commerce clause (Lopez) Contemporary Issues ? Conflicts between state and federal law ? ? Gay marriage ? If one state allows gay marriage, do other states have to honor that? U.S. v. Lopez ? In 1990, Congress passed the ?Guns Free Schools Act.? It banned possession of a gun within 1000 feet of a school, with criminal penalties U.S. v. Lopez, continued U.S.v. Lopez, continued ? ?The Act neither regulates a commercial activity nor contains a requirement that the possession be connected in any way to interstate commerce. We hold that the Act exceeds the authority of ?Congress to regulate Commerce. . . Among the several states?.? Congress Responds ? More and more, Congress ?encourages? states to go along with federal mandates by making federal funds conditional on compliance (?grants-in-aid?) ? These strings allow Congress to influence policies in which it would otherwise lack authority Raich v. Gonzales ? How far does the federal government?s power reach into state matters? ? In 1996, California voters legalized medical marijuana Arguments why is now the govt. turning back to Republican midterm elction loss pattern shaping up to be a bad cycle for Democrats, with losses of up to 28 seats( reps need 40 for a majority, given current 255-178 makeup) Election of democrats in centrist or slightly GOP districts Retirements The Presidency Unique office president only in US Expectations and Realities of power Formal vs. informal sources of power Constitutional powers informal/bargaining powers president is independent of the legislature unilateral executive powers Different conceptions of the presidency, and the evolution of presidential power Lots of ambiguity scope of power of what the president can and can not do ? Question: How powerful is the president? Expectations and Realities Public expectations far exceed the power of the President (or federal government) president and the economy crime, econol, environment, national defense , foreign policy, budgets, taxes, welfare president constrained by seperation of powers but help responsible Framers clearly intended that Congress would be the ?primary? branch of government ?Energy in the Executive? Fear in creating president as executive was that it would be a precursor to a monarchy Required powers and disgression Hamilton ?Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; t the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.? Federalist, No. 70 ability to act independitly of congress if nessecary. Independent, unitary, single executive President is independent of legislature Selected by house, can only be removed by the impeachment process Formal Presidential Powers ? Listed in Article II: the executive power shall be invested in a president of the United States commander in chief appointment power( ambassadors, judges, executive branch officials) take care that the laws be faithfully executed power to make treaties Legislative power: the Veto can disapprove what congress is trying to pass Many ambiguities Evolution of Presidential Role different eras of presidential leadership: legislative era to 1933 Demarcation is the strength of the presidency, which grew substantially with FDR and the New Deal ? Public expectations of strong action, comprehensive agenda, public leadership ? 19th century: President as ?clerk? Caretaker v. Steward ? WH Taft: the president may only do what the constitution explicitly authorizes ? TR (and successors): whatever the constitution does not prohibit, the president may do ? All presidents have incentive to push this envelope Key factors in Rise of Presidency ? Expansion of government power (don?t need strong president when government doesn?t do much) ? Public side of presidency: the ?bully pulpit? ? Creation of ?institutional presidency? Growth of Presidential Power ? FDR/New Deal changes everything Growth of Presidential Power ? Rise of Institutional Presidency Growth ? Historical pattern of increasing presidential power ? Bush Unilateral Policies and Powers ? Combination of constitutional ambiguities and singularity, gives president ability to act first ? President won?t win every time, but can usually shift policy in his preferred direction ? Examples: ? Military tribunals ? Interrogation methods ? NSA surveillance ? Theory of the Unitary Executive ? Signing statements Executive Interpretation ? Can a president declare a law unconstitutional? Initial is no : judicial review is the provice of the courts faithful execution clause seems to obligate president to carry out laws that congress passes, without exception turns out to have much more complicated answer What happens if Congress passes a law that president thinks is unconstitutional? Possibilities veto decline to investigate aggressively or bring charges implement in a manner that is more consistent with presidential goals than congressional ( which will be discussed in detail tin the next lecture on conrol of the bureaucracy? President have used signing statements to set out their views of laws that they sign, even to indicate that portions are unconstitutional Signing statement- would sign it but state why he believed part of the law was unconstitutional Does not have to enforce it Critics see it as attempt to circumvent statutory language and attempt to unilaterally negate enacted laws, and ?cherry pick? what it will enforce and what it will ignore Always going to have tention between congress and president signing statement is just a bold statement what you will do and think out in the open, not an underground operation DOJ Opinion 1993 opinion of Attorney General ( advice given to Clinton) ?The President may declare in a signing statement that a provision of the bill before him is flatly unconstitutional, and that he will refuse to enforce it? while president bush took the idea of the unitary executive to new levels , all presidents have operated in this manner to some extent. Bush ? on Detainee Treatment Act in 2005 Signing statement on approval of DOD emergency supplemetal legislation (which included the Detainee Treatment Act The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks. . . . response from congress to detainees Obama example 2009 state department appropriateions act prohibits u.s. officials from attending any UN meeting chaired by country designeated as supporting international terrism. Justice Department : this provision unconstitutionally infringes on President?s authority to conduct nation?s diplomacy and foreign affairs Presidential Popularity ? Viewed as critical resource, although it doesn?t really make all that much difference isn?t much that the president can do to directly influence opinion beyond exernal events ? Key factors: honeymoon economy rally effect war what difference does popularity make? Conditions the reactions of pther political actos. Presidential unpopularity lowers cost of resisting presidential action ( think about members of congress in competitive districts) Not determinative Public Relations Strategies President?s attempt to shape public debate announcements, speeches, proposals tactical decisions-rolling announcements, timing, spin the permanent campaign do they work? Defining Presidential Success ? Different ways of viewing this ? How do presidents attempt to achieve it? ? Many factors beyond their control Health Care Reform White house- GOP Summit on Thursday Never have happened before White house relaease new propsal on Monday- pretty close to senate versiton- with insurance controls, mandates, Medicaid expansion, and revenues provisions. No public option. Looser abortion language. Creates a group that helps mandate Language ? very careful- does not come right out to say if you don?t get health care you will be fined. Agenda control strategy? Possibly trying to regain control of the agenda Is the reconciliation strategy credible? Obama Presidency supporters hoped for transformational change (fundamental reorganization of political influence and institutions) transcending existing political division and partisanship contested claims of centrist pragmaticm, against claims of a progressive mandate Significant progress on many issues, including major legislation stimulus act pay discrimination not always in the direction that satisfies progressives or conservatives deeply unhappy about environmental legislation, health care But, less success on signature issues, especially health care Assessing Difficult for any president to impose major change Hard to persuade peoples minds What does it mean to reshape politics? Different set of polices? Altering how people relate to government or politics People looked to president on more personal terms How does transformation occur? What are the obstacles? Role of institutions and processes? Path dependency? What are the incentives of the different actors? Is it a question of message, or substance? President- not a question of substance problem is they have yet to succeed- want ppl to see that it is in their favor problem is the policy is wrong think about incentives of different actors- how you overcome opposition ? by persuasion, reconsiliation, political force- thinking about it Congress and the Legislative Process Primary instrument of government policymaking Large number of questions of politics and principles of political action role of institutions collective action Majoritarian institution, where doing nothing (status quo) is default outcome. Large body composed of equal members Congress can only act in a majority process Constructed to make it difficult to make major changes mostly nonhierarchical, though influence is not spread equally tries to be equal everyone has 1 vote- limited opportunities to force people to vote one way or another Relationship between structure, process, and outcomes Well defined as complicated set of rules senate chooses members of the internal organization controversial legislation Key characteristics of Congress Functions as a representative, lawmaking, and oversight body 2 functions, lawmaking national policy national interest taxes, armies, navies representative body members are elected representation of local interests can be decentralizing what members constiuants want vs. national interest= problems oversight a crucial function with few direct benefits to members highlights difficulty of collective action members are conflicted- no grantee that they will match up Determines its own internal organization and operating rules These dicisons rules have consequences ( filibuster) importance of legislative procedures intentional, formal Characteristics, Contd. Dominated by political professionals, who are almost always reelected, with stable membership Most are career politicians Individual members elected from distinct geographical constituencies, with highly variable demography Smaller states are more influential Cooperation enhanced by party organizations, norms, formal rules Lawmaking vs. Representation When making decisions, should members act in the national interest or on the basis of their own judgment, or do what their constituents want? Delegate vs. trustee models delegate- members don?t act as an independent agents trustee models- act in the national interest no clear answer most members try to balance the conflicting roles which one is right? Congress? Institutional Dilemma, cont. Congress ? as an institution ? is almost always unpopular 15% Individual members are more popular with constituents than Congress as a whole (CNN, Feb 2010) 35 % say that most members of congress deserve to be reelcted 50% say their own member deserves reelection both numbers lowest since 1991 Evaluate Congress as a whole on the basis of national lawmaking; our own legislators on the basis of representation congress as a whole is looked as a one group representatives looked at as individual members Congressional Unpopularity Congress is also unpopular, and almost always runs a distant third in public opinion about national institutions Why? Inefficiency lack of national constituency, even for leadership unresponsiveness to public views promotion of local rather than national interest ( pork barrel) 2008- wall street collapsing Public Views ? All of these sources of conflict are inherent in the legislative process ? Collective needs of institution vs. individual needs of members: trustees vs. delegates Question ? Complexity of health care legislation (2,000 pages +) raise question: Should members be required to read and understand all of the legislation that they vote on? Madison ? House (57) : close ties between members and constituents (frequent elections, short terms) ? Senate (62): equal representation, long terms as a check (?the necessity of the Senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies, to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions, and to be seduced by factions leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions?) Characteristics of Legislative Process ? multiple veto points ? Division of labor/Committee system How to Organize? ? Constitution largely silent on internal organization of legislature, explicitly grants each chamber the authority to determine procedures ? Some rules suggest themselves: House Senate Differences ? House ? larger, more formal organization ? Senate ? smaller, less formally structured Major Veto Points ? Despite the majoritarian principle, it is extremely difficult to get legislation through Congress ? Multiple majorities required in numerous stages; failure in any means no bill Major Veto Points ? Committee Consideration ? Conference Committee - where members work out differences between House and Senate versions of a bill ? Filibuster (Senate): prerogative to talk as long as you like. Gives opportunity to stop all productivity Committee System ? ?sub? legislatures ? division of labor, development of expertise Filibuster ? Allows single Senator to hold up bill (unlimited debate) ? Requires 60 votes in the Senate to shut off debate (cloture) Presidential Involvement: the Veto ? Presidential approval required (generally) ? Presidential disapproval (veto) usually kills legislation current events dem congressional leadership set to push health care legislation through reconciliation house passes version of Senate bill, with changes bill then goes to senate, where special procedure used to prevent filibuster political consequences? Ethnics problems for rep. Charles Rangel ( democarate-new york) Chair of house ways and means committee-taxes Charges that he accepted corporate-sponsored trips to Carribean Failure to disclose rental property income Improper financial disclosures- to the tune of 100s Congressional unpopularity Congress is also unpopular and alsmot always runs a distanct third in public opinion about national instiutions Why? Inefficiency Lack of national constituency, even for leadership Unresponsiveness to public views 50% say start over, congress still wants to make progress assess congress as the majority party, promotion of local rather than national interests- pork barrel diffusion of accountability visibilt of conflict-ethnics problems members criticizing instituion conflict between needs of instituition an needs of public views all of these cources of conflict are inherent in the legislative process collective needs of instiution vs. indiviual needs of memeres trustees vs. delegates should congress be organiced to make nation policy even at the cost of closing itself off to representativesness? Should congress be organized to further members electoral prospects, even at the cost of the lawmaking function? How are these usually incompatible forces reconciled? Public view: if not for the influence of well-finacianced lobbyists Congress wuld enact reforms in health care, financial systems regulation? Question Complexity of health care legislation ? 2,000 pages raise question : should members be required to read and understand all the legislation that they vote on? An obvios yes, or cheap rhetorical shot? Why ? how does accountability work if legislators don?t read the legislation? Role of division of labor, staff, committee system, logrolling, cues, party leadership, delegation Contemporary government cannot work without delgation Accountability based on outcomes Characteristics of legislative process Multiple veto points Few bills make it through Critical importance of legisltive procedure current events regale- ethical charges, tring to force a senior popular African American , committee leader off his post, Repubicans tring to force congress to act. Decided to take a leave of absence- make the issue less prominent and have democrats keep their majority Example of high profile and high visible conflict Looks like he is living by a set of different rules Healthcare debate continues Senate relay on reconciliation process Right now- house and senate passed different forms, need to be passed in an identical form, Major Veto points Some bills need to be passed every year- budget- house and senate make special rules to make it easier to pass Despite the majoritarian principle, it is extremely difficult to get legislation through congress committee condisderation where bills often die, committees can chose what to do with it conference committee- where members work out differences between house and senate versions of a bill presidential approval required ( generally) presidential disapproval ( veto) usually kills legislation created originally to allow president to check legislative encroachment congress has opportunity to ?override? with 2/3 majority president wins more that 99% of the time ( about 93% with regular vetos) Symbolic legislation Pork barrel Frequent complaint that congress approves wasteful spending Strictly to provide local benefits Unnecessary Pay off legislators, interest groups, potential for outright corruption Recent examples form recent years: 50 million to build an indoor rain forest in Iowa Bridge to nowhere- 320 million for bridge in Ketchikan, AK 1 million to restore a German WWII submarine at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry 1.9 million for water taxi service near Bridgeport, CT Christmas tree bills: You know they have to pas, so you load them up with per projects. 2003 $80 billion supplemental Iraz appropriation Earmarks Practice of adding language to appropriation bills, during committee process, just to fund local projects the power of judicial review article III say nothing about the power to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress or the President the supreme court assumed that power in 1803 ( Marbury v. Madison) : it is the province and duty of the judicial department to see what the law is must have an instutinon to say what the law is and see if other branches are acting constitutional The least Dangerous Branch? Courts ultimate power balanced by Lack of enforcement mechanism Need for cases to be brought to it Inability ( in theory) to mandate policies But, critics argue that Once the least dangerous branch? Judges are unaccountable Can do whatever and view options No limits on what they can decide, or how No formal set of limits Can remove a judge that is behaving unradicaly but can not remove because of negative social consequences or making bad laws- only over corruption charges The least dangerous branch has become the imperial judiciary How can the Court be a political institution? At the appellate of Supreme Court level, its easy : They vote Only about 30-40% of Supreme court decisions are unanimous About 20-30% of cases decided by a single vote ( 5-4) Political consequences : Bush v. Gore 2000 election Critics: Republican justices handed presidency to Bush Supporters: Court had to step in to settle irresolvable political issue Polity prescriptions Miranda set out precise language that police had to use in maing arrests School bussing cases: implementation of policy Redistricting and apportionment cases Deciding Cases Issues in decision making: 1. Statutory interpretationO what does the law say, or mean 2. Sonstitutional interpretation ( original intent vs. loose construction, more later) precendent ( stare decisis) problem: many constitutional provision are ambiguous and of uncertain origins: the executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States unreasonable searches and seizures objectable terms physical restraint?? Due process, just comprensation cruel and unusual Free speech
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