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Louis Fisher - On Appreciating Congress: The People’s Branch

Last week, the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies welcomed Louis Fisher to discuss On Appreciating Congress: The People’s Branch, his new book that argues that Congress is critically important to the Republic of the United States and, as a coequal branch of the government, it must not necessarily defer to the supposed expertise of the Judiciary or the capability of the Executive.  Fisher began by developing skepticism about the Executive and Judiciary branches by relating decisions in each branch that certainly did not warrant respect, such as the overturning of legislation passed by Congress that would grant newly freed slaves public accommodation or the decades of Supreme Court case law that denied women equal protection under the law.  To highlight what Congress does well, Fisher addressed the many way in which Congress has been critical to the expansion and maintenance of minority rights.  He cast doubt on the role of the Judiciary as the guardian of minority rights and insisted that Congress has done much more for minorities.  Fisher finished with a spirited engagement with several students’ questions about how Congress could better maintain its power in relation to the other branches.

Louis Fisher is currently a Scholar in Residence at the Constitution Project.  Over the previous four decades, Fisher has worked for the Congressional Research Service and Library of Congress as Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers.  He has countless publications including nineteen books.

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