The Obama Administration, Fundamental Institutional Change, and the Constitutional Lawmaking System
Michael B. Rappaport
University of San Diego School of Law
March 22, 2010
Constitutional Commentary, Spring 2010
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 10-013
This brief essay, written for a symposium on conservative and libertarian reactions to President Obama’s first year, focuses on the Obama Administration’s efforts to effect transformative change. The essay explores the limits in the existing Constitution for constraining such change. It also argues that a desirable constitution would contain substantial limits on such change. The essay then discusses three situations where fundamental institutional change was attempted - the New Deal, the Great Society, and the early Clinton Administration - and describes the different results that occurred in these situations. It concludes by examining the prospects for fundamental institutional change under the Obama Administration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Supermajority Rules, Constitutional Change, Fundamental Institutional Change
JEL Classification: K10, K39
Date posted: March 24, 2010 ; Last revised: March 26, 2010
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