Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers

Josh Chafetz, Cornell Law School

Date: 
Thu, 05/03/2018 - 12:10pm
Location: 
Bowl 1, Robertson Hall
Audience: 
Princeton University Community
Public

book coverMembers of the Princeton community receive priority; members of the public are welcome if space is available. Lunch is provided.

Please join us for a lunchtime book talk with Josh Chafetz, to discuss Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers.

From Yale University Press: "Congress is widely supposed to be the least effective branch of the federal government. But as Josh Chafetz shows in this boldly original analysis, Congress in fact has numerous powerful tools at its disposal in its conflicts with the other branches. These tools include the power of the purse, the contempt power, freedom of speech and debate, and more.

Drawing extensively on the historical development of Anglo-American legislatures from the seventeenth century to the present, Chafetz concludes that these tools are all means by which Congress and its members battle for public support. When Congress uses them to engage successfully with the public, it increases its power vis-à-vis the other branches; when it does not, it loses power. This groundbreaking take on the separation of powers will be of interest to both legal scholars and political scientists."

Josh Chafetz
Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

Josh Chafetz received his B.A. from Yale University, his doctorate in Politics from Oxford (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar), and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His research interests include structural constitutional law, American and British constitutional history, legislation and legislative procedure, American political development, and the intersection of law and politics. His second book, Congress's Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers, was published by Yale University Press in 2017. He is also the author of Democracy's Privileged Few: Legislative Privilege and Democratic Norms in the British and American Constitutions (Yale University Press, 2007) and is a co-editor (along with William N. Eskridge, Jr., Elizabeth Garrett, and James Brudney) of the leading casebook in Legislation, Cases and Materials on Legislation and Regulation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, published by West. His scholarship has been published in a number of top law reviews, including the Harvard Law ReviewYale Law JournalUniversity of Chicago Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law ReviewDuke Law JournalNotre Dame Law Review, and Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, among others. He has also written for a number of popular press outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington PostPoliticoSlate, and the New Republic. He is currently a Contributing Writer for the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.