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Boston University School of Law




There is considerable talk of failure in the air these days - including constitutional failure, moral failure, political failure and institutional failure - and criticisms of Congress figure prominently in this discourse. First, I shall ask whether talk about Congress being "the broken branch," the topic of the first panel in this symposium, is talk of constitutional failure or failure of some other sort. Second, to link the topic of that panel to the topic of the panel in which I participated, I will ask whether some call Congress the broken branch because it is not adequately or appropriately democratic. More generally, when people disparage Congress, are they doing so because they view it as undemocratic? Or instead, because they view it as dysfunctional, ineffective, irresponsible, and otherwise not up to the challenge of meeting the daunting problems it will face in the twenty-first century?



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