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The Imperial Congress: Crisis in the Separation of Powers Hardcover – February 15, 1989

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Editorial Reviews


"The foremost of the new breed of advocacy [think] tanks."--Time on The Heritage Foundation

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"Heritage has seen its ideas translated into policy with amazing speed."--The (London) Observer on The Heritage Foundation

About the Author

Gordon S. Jones is an authority on the legislative process. He has worked for Senator Jake Garn, Senator Paula Hawkins, the Senate Republican Policy Committee, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and as Vice President for Government Relations of The Heritage Foundation. He also ran an editorial and political consulting firm during his 20-year career in the nation's capital.

John A. Marini has served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. He is an adjunct fellow of The Claremont Institute, and has recently joined the faculty of the University of Nevada-- Reno as Associate Professor of Political Science.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: World Almanac; 1ST edition (February 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886874084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886874087
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,513,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on November 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Ah, the Reagan years ... when Newt Gingrich was a rising star, Bill Clinton was an obscure Southern governor, and Republicans knew Congress was the enemy. Within just a few years, the same people and institutions who railed against the 'imperial Congress' would find themselves in control of that institution. By that time, the White House was the enemy again, and Republicans devoted their energy and determination to rolling back the presidency and using Congress as an engine of 'reform.'
As a monument of that earlier, innocent era, this book has three elements: an indictment of Congressional abuses of power, an analysis of the 'separation of powers' doctrine, and policy prescriptions for the late 1980s and beyond. Of these, the last is largely outdated now and the first is incomplete: the problem isn't that Congress is too powerful vis-à-vis the presidency, or vice versa, but rather that *both* branches have far too much power (just for good measure, so does the judiciary), and *both* should be severely, brutally, uncompromisingly scaled back.
The middle element, the analysis of 'separation of powers,' still stands up fifteen years later, however, and is worth a read for students of political science.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Published six years before the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, this book's lessons remain true for today's Congress. The point is not about increased partisanship but the extent to which Congress has become the handmaiden of the bureaucracy. The Republican failure to see this and instead to nurture the bureaucracy/welfare state clouded the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration extended the bureaucracy and clearly treated its Democratic majorities with contempt, using executive orders and constitutionally dubious appointments. The relevant essays include those by John Marini, Charles Kesler, John A. Wettergreen, Douglas Jeffrey, and Gordon Crovitz.
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