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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the constitutional politics of Congress, with particular emphasis on the ways constitutional values are shaped by congressional interpretations of the Constitution. It first considers the role of Congress in constitutional decision-making at all phases of the legislative process, including the enactment of legislation, oversight of government departments and agencies, confirmation of judges and justices, and countermanding of the Supreme Court through constitutional amendments. It then compares the constitutional interpretations of early Congresses with those of today’s Congress, focusing on impediments to Congress’s constitutional interpretation. It suggests that lawmakers no longer have incentives to take the Constitution seriously, and outlines the reasons this is so.

Keywords: constitutional politics, Congress, Constitution, legislation, confirmation, Supreme Court, constitutional amendments, constitutional interpretations, lawmakers

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