To boost Hill credibility, some clues from the last impeachment
The very course of American history is shifting with the formalized launch of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. And for those who view democracy as broken, and well beyond all the recently alleged abuses of executive power, one important undercurrent is captured by this question:
Can Congress use the proceedings to recalibrate the balance of power, reclaiming even a bit of the muscle it's allowed to atrophy to the benefit of presidents for so long — and maybe even end up boosting its abysmal public reputation as dysfunctional and polarized?
It's a big reach. But the ingredients are there for Capitol Hill to reap lasting institutional benefit from the coming drama, and for American democracy to be better off at the end, no matter what the outcome for Trump.
Looking to emulate aspects of the last impeachment is a place to start.
North Carolina's congressional map is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander under the state constitution just like the state legislative maps struck down earlier this month, a lawsuit filed Friday argues.
The National Redistricting Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of a political committee run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asked the state courts to order a redrawing of the 13 House districts in time for next year's election because the current map is "the most extreme and brazen partisan gerrymander in American history."
The lawsuit relies almost entirely on the precedent set just this month by a panel of three judges in Charlotte, who declared the maps for the General Assembly drawn by the GOP violated the state constitution's clauses protecting the rights of Democrats to free elections, equal protection and freedom of speech and assembly.
If a man walks hundreds of miles so he can stage a photogenic protest on the Capitol steps, then disappears into a crowd of other demonstrators without saying a word on camera, does he actually accomplish his goal?
Renaldo Pearson insists the answer is a qualified yes.
Supported by RepresentUs, which bills itself as the nation's biggest grassroots group pushing for fairer elections and less money in politics, Pearson really did walk almost 700 miles from Atlanta to Washington. And he did so in just 47 days, which may have done more to complicate his cause than to help it.
Kevin Kosar is vice president of policy at R Street Institute and also cofounder of the nonpartisan Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group, which aims to strengthen Congress. He was previously a senior official at the Congressional Research Service, where he served as an analyst and research manager. His answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
What's the tweet-length description of your organization?
R Street is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. Our mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government.
In our representative democracy, ballot initiatives serve as a check to ensure the power of the people, according to Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. On Thursday, we published a countervailing argument against the use the ballot initiatives.
Joined by leading figures from journalism, politics, and academia, this conference will explore how polarization is driving Americans into competing and antagonistic tribes. We will examine the history of tribalism, its impacts on politics, and what role the media should play.