I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Last Essay

Pick one:

1.  Choose an issue on which there could be a constitutional conflict between Congress and President Trump.  Examples include:  assertions of executive privilege, allegations of misconduct, the power of the purse,  executive agreements, and war powers -- among others.  Drawing on Trump's statements and activities, explain what he might do create a conflict.  What specific constitutional questions would arise?  In light of the upcoming composition of Congress, what would be the likely outcome?

2.  Propose a specific reform of the congressional budget process or the War Powers Resolution.  What is the problem that you are trying to solve?  How would the reform address it?  What are the chances for the enactment of such a reform?

3.  You are sitting in a secure undisclosed location with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.  "I hear you took a course on Congress," says Pelosi.  "If you're so smart and learned so much, tell us what we should do now," says Schumer.  Lay out a 2017 strategy for congressional Democrats.  In your answer, take careful account of the opportunities and limits of the minority party in each chamber.  Compare and contrast the current state of play with other situations in which the minority party has just undergone a shellacking by the party of an incoming president.
  • Essays should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page. 
  • In addition to outside research, your essay should draw on class discussions and readings.
  • Cite your sources with endnotes in standard Turabian format. 
  • Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you. Return essays (as Word documents, not pdfs) to the Sakai dropbox by 11:59 PM, Friday, December 9. Papers will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a full letter grade after that.

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