The Obama Administration, Fundamental Institutional Change, and the Constitutional Lawmaking System

Constitutional Commentary, Spring 2010

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 10-013

17 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2010 Last revised: 26 Mar 2010

Michael B. Rappaport

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: March 22, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Supermajority Rules, Constitutional Change, Fundamental Institutional Change

JEL Classification: K10, K39

Suggested Citation

Rappaport, Michael B., The Obama Administration, Fundamental Institutional Change, and the Constitutional Lawmaking System (March 22, 2010). Constitutional Commentary, Spring 2010; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 10-013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1576694

Michael B. Rappaport (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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