The Obama Administration, Fundamental Institutional Change, and the Constitutional Lawmaking System
Constitutional Commentary, Spring 2010
17 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2010 Last revised: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 22, 2010
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: Suggested Citation