On appreciating Congress: the people's branch

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Paradigm Publishers, Dec 30, 2009 - Law - 182 pages
This book explains why Congress is the indispensable institution for safeguarding popular, democratic, and constitutional government. Even though its record over the past two centuries presents a mixed picture, the record of the other two branches is also decidedly mixed. The author has worked for Congress for the past four decades and writes from a perspective that intimately understands its shortcomings while appreciating its strengths. He contends that portraying Congress as so inherently inept that it must be kept subordinate to presidential or judicial power is misguided and uninformed. The Constitution looks to Congress as the first branch because it is the institution through which citizens at the local and state level engage in self-government. Although Presidents claim to be the 'national representative,' they cannot substitute for the knowledge and legitimacy brought by members of Congress. Congress, after all, is 'the people's branch' and this book restores it to its rightful claim.

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Facing Executive Power
Interpreting the Constitution
Protecting Minority Rights

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About the author (2009)

Louis Fisher is a specialist in constitutional issues for the Law Library of Congress and author of nineteen books including most recently, "The Constitution and 9/11: Recurring Threats to America's Freedom" (University Press of Kansas 2008).