Legislative Process (LAW-821B-001)
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Other WCL courses cover the political (electoral) process, legislation including statutory interpretation, legislative negotiating and drafting, and administrative law (governmental agency rule-making and interpretation). This course, while it inevitably touches on some of those interrelated subjects, focuses primarily on legislative process: how legislators and legislatures work to make laws, create budgets, and provide oversight of executive branch agencies charged with implementing those laws, focusing primarily though not exclusively on Congress. We will cover the sources and nature of legislative power, the structure of legislative institutions, how law-making power is exercised, and the legitimizing characteristics of legislatures: representatives and theories of representation, responsiveness to majoritarian preferences, the nature of legislative deliberation, and the role of the executive and judiciary in enacting statutes and policing the legislative process. Particular attention will be paid to the evolution of these processes in the modern era of increasing size and complexity of governmental functions and the matters they are responsible for, and in response to increased political polarization and gridlock. We will cover the major Constitutional provisions, Supreme Court cases, and other relevant writings.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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Legislative Process, Fourth Edition, 2015, Aspen Publishers, Abner Mikva, Eric Lane and Michael Gerhardt. ISBN: 9781454835295
First Class Readings
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