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Article I Initiative

Welcome to the Article I Initiative

A properly functioning legislature is imperative to maintaining a democratic-republic. In many ways, our modern Congresses have failed to live up to their constitutionally designated role. Public regard for the institution has never been lower; Americans increasingly perceive their leaders as loyal to party over country. Congress seems unable or unwilling to stand up to the other branches and work to address the nation’s major challenges.

The mission of Federalist Society’s Article I Initiative is to restore Congress to its rightful place in the Constitutional order. The Initiative is non-partisan; we aim to bring the left and the right together to ensure that the Constitutional balance leans heavily towards the institution which is meant to be most representative of the American people.

From this page, you will have access to Article I Initiative content, including videos, podcasts, articles, and blog posts. Sign-up for updates here, and message us directly if you have any questions or comments.

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




Recent Updates

The Wealth of Congress

Jonathan Klick June 14, 2017
Article I Initiative

Professor Jonathan Klick’s paper is an empirical inquiry into the impact of congressional service on the personal wealth of those elected. Professor Klick tackles the question “Does working in Congress help one become rich?” Among other factors, he examines insider trading among members, financial behavior upon leaving office, the correlation of committee assignments and wealth accumulation. While acknowledging the difficulty of making casual inferences due to incomplete disclosure data, Professor Klick interprets his results as evidence that House members are indeed getting richer.

Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee and end with a closing address by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and a reception.

Panel Discussion of DC Confidential: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington by Prof. David Schoenbrod - Event Audio/Video

Article I Initiative
Martin Frost, David Schoenbrod, Adam J. White April 24, 2017

A1 Schoenbrod Book 2017 -13.jpgIn Professor David Schoenbrod’s new book DC CONFIDENTIAL: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington, he asserts that in the 1960s, elected officials in Congress and the White House figured out a system for enacting laws and spending programs—one that lets them take the credit for promising good news while avoiding the blame for producing bad results. He argues that with five key tricks, politicians of both parties now avoid accounting to the people for what the government does. The result is a vicious cycle of grand promises and budget gimmicks by elected officials, failed policies, blame-shifting by politicians, and spiraling distrust of a government too dysfunctional and unaccountable to solve major problems. The book contends that the ground rules of government must change so that elected officials will once again shoulder responsibility for results. Schoenbrod also offers a practical action plan for reform including a legislative solution—the "Honest Deal Act"—which would change incentives and fundamentally reform government procedures.

This program was held at the Rayburn House Office Building on April 19, 2017.

Featuring:

  • Honorable Martin Frost, Former Congressman, Vice-President, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress
  • Professor David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School
  • Professor Adam White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

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