Gridlock, Legislative Supremacy, and the Problem of Arbitrary Inaction

Academic

Source

Gridlock, Legislative Supremacy, and the Problem of Arbitrary Inaction
Notre Dame Law Review
Volume: 
88
Issue: 
5
Page numbers: 
2217-2232
Pages: 
16

Summary:

The author examines the implications of the inability of the past several United States Congresses to make substantive policy decisions across a number of pressing issues.

He concludes that legislative gridlock undermines key principles of the US Constitution including the separation of powers and legislative supremacy. A legislature unable to legislate causes a number of problems including:

  • Increased arbitrary action by the executive branch
  • Reduced input into policy from the system’s most representative body
  • Increased inaction across a broad range of key policy areas
  • Judicial dominance in statutory interpretation

These problems, the author argues, contribute to Americans' growing frustration in their ‘rightful expectation of a rational, reliable, and fair government’.

 

Thumbnail image: ttarasiuk/Flickr

Author(s)
Michael Teter

University of Utah

Countries/Regions
USA
Published Date
June 1, 2013