Why No Parliaments in the United States?
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
September 8, 2011
Rutgers Law Journal, Vol. 43, 2012
UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 11-30
Throughout American history, individual states have engaged in what scholars have aptly referred to as an “orgy of constitution-making.” States’ basic charters, however, have diverged profoundly from the federal Constitution in virtually every possible way but one: no state has ever created a parliamentary system. This Article asks why this is so, and finds that the answer reveals a basic American political pathology: a hatred of parties and legislative process, grounded in the electorate’s mythic belief that the only thing preventing political consensus are special interests or venal politicians. The current political paralysis in Washington and state capitals also derives from this myth, demonstrating that inquiring into the absence of American parliaments reveals basic flaws in our current political culture.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, political partiesAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 9, 2011 ; Last revised: October 4, 2011
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