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Article I Initiative

Welcome to the Article I Initiative

A properly functioning legislature is imperative to maintaining a democratic-republic, and it almost goes without saying that the modern Congress is dysfunctional. The public regard for the institution has never been lower, factionalism has created a toxic public atmosphere, and Congress seems unable or unwilling to act and address the major challenges facing the nation.

The Article I Initiative was started to do the work necessary to restore Congress to its rightful place in the Constitutional order, and to create a body of scholarship that will help legislators become effective leaders and lawmakers in the 21st Century.  

This Initiative is self-consciously non-partisan; both left and right should work together to ensure that the Constitutional balance leans heavily towards the institution which holds the people’s representatives.

From this page, you will have access to all of the content produced by the Article I Initiative, including videos with our writers, podcasts, articles, and blog posts. Please sign-up for updates here, and feel free to message us directly if you have any questions or comments regarding the Initiative.

If you have any questions, please email us at ArticleI@fed-soc.org.

  


Recent Updates

House Judiciary Committee Agenda - Event Audio/Video

Article I Initiative
Bob Goodlatte, C. Boyden Gray February 04, 2017

Congressman Goodlatte discusses the House Judiciary Committee's agenda for the 115th Congress. He delivered these remarks on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Bob Goodlatte, United States House of Representatives
  • Introduction: Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Founding Partner, Boyden Gray & Associates

National Press Club
Washington, DC

Article I Initiative Conference

Article I Initiative
January 12, 2017

The overarching objective of the Federalist Society's Article I Initiative is to provide an explanatory theory of Congress and its role in the American constitutional system as envisioned by the Framers. To that end, the Society has brought together top academics in the field to discuss their ideas in a forum accessible to those who have the most influence over the institutional health of the US Congress.

Congressional Regulatory Reform Proposals - Event Audio/Video

Fourth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
Heidi Heitkamp, Dean A. Reuter, Susan E. Dudley, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jeffrey A. Rosen, Adam J. White May 20, 2016

Modern statutes and executive orders are intended to ensure that new regulations do more good than harm—that is, to produce more benefits than costs. Despite these nominal protections, some say the accumulation of regulations threaten the nation’s economic growth and well-being. As a result, the 114th Congress is considering various regulatory reform proposals designed to help ensure that new regulations make Americans better off and that existing regulations are evaluated and modified as necessary. Some of the proposals would enhance economic analysis of regulations, while others seek structural reform including stronger legislative control and judicial review of the administrative rulemaking. While none of these bills has been enacted, several of them have bipartisan support and some have passed one house.  Which proposals are best, and why?  Are there proposals yet to be made that would be better yet?

This panel was presented during the Fourth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference on May 17, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Welcome & Address:

  • Hon. Heidi Heitkamp, United States Senate, North Dakota
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

Panel Featuring:

  • Hon. Susan E. Dudley, Director of the Regulatory Studies Center, The George Washington University
  • Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Senior Counsel and Head of Regulatory Advocacy, General Electric Company
  • Hon. Jeffrey A. Rosen, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Moderator: Mr. Adam White, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Showcase Panel II: The Living Congress: Adaptation or Decline? - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Christopher C. DeMuth, Neal E. Devins, David Mayhew, Gillian E. Metzger, Neomi Rao, Jerry E. Smith, Dean A. Reuter November 18, 2015

Clearly, we live in a very different society from that of the founding period. Size of both population and territory, speed of communication, and America's role in the world are but three examples of many differences. Equally clear is that these changes require adaptation, even if the original design was perfect. But how true have those changes been to the structure and spirit of that design? Have the required changes in practice been consciously or unconsciously used as a way to alter the original conception? What has been lost that would be valuable today? Are there better ways to adjust the Congressional role to major changes in society? Hypothetically, how would Congress handle a greatly increased volume of work in the unlikely event that the size of the government was halved, and could it do so without excessive reliance on the Administrative State? Is Congress dysfunctional today? If so, how can we improve it?

Showcase Panel II: The Living Congress: Adaptation or Decline?
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Grand Ballroom

  • Mr. Christopher C. DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Prof. Neal E. Devins, Sandra Day O'Connor Professor of Law, Cabell Research Professor, Professor of Government, and Director, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, William & Mary Law School
  • Prof. David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, Yale University
  • Prof. Gillian E. Metzger, U.S. Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law, Columbia Law School 
  • Prof. Neomi Rao, Associate Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Jerry Smith, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

The Original View of Congress - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Akhil Reed Amar, Louis Fisher, Tara Helfman, Gordon Lloyd, James L. Buckley November 16, 2015

What was the founders' conception of the role of Congress? Was that conception clearly understood? To what degree was that conception followed during our nation's early years and to what degree did early Congresses follow the Constitution? To what degree were members of Congress representing their districts and to what degree were they representing national interests? In what ways did the Senate and the House originally operate differently? Originally, the prevailing view was that “the laws that free men live under are the laws that have been hauled up." In other words, we are ruled by the laws that we and our neighbors made. Was this ever true?

Showcase Panel I: The Original View of Congress
9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

  • Prof. Akhil R. Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University
  • Dr. Louis Fisher, Scholar in Residence, the Constitution Project
  • Prof. Tara J. Helfman, Associate Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law 
  • Dr. Gordon Lloyd, Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University School of Public Policy
  • Moderator: Hon. James L. Buckley, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (ret.) and former U.S. Senator

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Senator Mike Lee's Opening Remarks at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Michael S. Lee, Leonard A. Leo November 16, 2015

Senator Mike Lee opened the 2015 National Lawyers Convention on November 12 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Senator Lee discussed the role of Congress.

Opening
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

  • Hon. Michael S. Lee, United States Senate, Utah
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Senator Mike Lee on the Role of Congress

Short video with Senator Mike Lee
Michael S. Lee November 12, 2015

Sen. Mike Lee gave the opening remarks at the 2015 National Lawyers Convention. In this short video he gives a summary of his talk about the role of Congress and the administrative state. #FedSoc2015