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77 minutes | Nov 23, 2021
Episode 75: Congressional Committees
In this episode of Constitutionally Speaking, Jay and Luke discuss the role of committees in Congress. Committees are the workhorses of Congress, where the real legislating happens. The guys evaluate different theories of committee organization, and Luke makes the case that their flexibility makes them still useful in the era of omnibus legislating.
82 minutes | Nov 9, 2021
Episode 74: Jay’s New Book!
Luke interviews Jay about his new book, James Madison: America’s First Politician, which is out on November 9th. Jay introduces a new bonus for podcast listeners — autographed book plates! — and the two dive (once again!) into Madison’s fascinating political career.
66 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
Episode 73: The Electoral Connection
In this week’s episode, Jay and Luke examine what makes members of Congress tick. The answer: paranoia. Specifically, the all-abiding fear that they might lose reelection. The congressional drive toward reelection frames their entire career in Congress, especially how they interact with their constituents back home. It determines how they view their districts and how they communicate with it. Those who are good at this job tend to win reelection. Those who don’t, don’t.
63 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Episode 72: Congress Since the 1990s
In this final installment of their ‘Historical Congress’ series, Luke and Jay discuss various facets of the legislative group since the 1990s.
76 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Episode 71: Congress’s Post-Watergate Period
Jay and Luke discuss Congress’s evolution and role after the Watergate scandal.
66 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Episode 70: Congress Confronts the Presidential Government — Progressivism, the New Deal, and the Great Society
Luke and Jay take a look at Congress’s confrontation with reform, from the collapse of the Populist movement through the rise of modern American liberalism. As the Civil War generation fades into the past, new cleavages and governing patterns emerge.
89 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Episode 69: The Rise of the Senate in the 19th Century
Jay and Luke take a look at the long period of congressional dominance in the 19th century, and they explain how congressional supremacy survived everything from the Civil War to civil-service reform.
76 minutes | Aug 19, 2021
Episode 68: Congress and the Civil War
Jay and Luke discuss Congress and the mid 1800s.
60 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
Episode 67: From Ratification to Reconstruction
Luke and Jay talk through the early development of Congressional power, the appearance of the committee system, and how the formation of political parties shaped the rules, habits, and customs of Congress.
122 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Episode 66: The Constitutional Congress
Jay and Luke take a look at the formal structures and rules that govern Congress in the Constitution. Why does each Chamber get to set its own rules? What’s the deal with judging qualifications? Why do we have a Speech and Debate Clause? Each of these provisions came to be in the constitution thanks to a rich combination of history, political theory, practical experience, and luck. Join the guys as they show how the Framers took the eclectic mixture of history and ideas outlined in the last episode and turned it into a set of concrete institutional rules and constraints.
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