Panel 2: Governing Structures and Congressional Reform

February 12, 2014

Can our constitutional system of separation of powers and checks and balances flourish amid polarized, almost parliamentary parties? This panel will trace the ways in which the three branches contribute to government inaction. How can legislative rules and practices be changed so government works? After the “nuclear option,” should the Senate embrace further reform? How about the House: to committee structures, leadership powers, discharge petitions, or otherwise? Have the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings contributed to dysfunction? What other changes are needed? Recorded at the Brennan Center conference Democratic Dysfunction: Exploring Solutions.

 

Moderator:

Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society

 

Panelists:

Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America, Founder, Democracy Initiative

Eric Lane, Dean and Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, co-author The Genius of America

Frances E. Lee, Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

Joe Onek, Principal, The Raben Group

Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, author Rescuing Compromise