Congress, the Constitution, and Divided Government

Congress, the Constitution, and Divided Government
Matthew O. Field
August 2013

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-628-9 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 262 pages

Price   $75.00


Congressional constitutional deliberation is circumscribed by the political regime and time within which it takes place. By understanding the three cases studied here to have taken place within affiliated time, by which they inhabit and exhibit specific regime constructs, the political regime and political time paradigms are affirmed. Each case demonstrates the importance of regime contestation: the normative debate between competing national governing coalitions. Congress acts as a partisan institution functioning within a political environment encompassing both fundamental “settled” values and secondary “unsettled” values. Its deliberation is symbolic and derivative in nature, acting under an umbrella of judicial supremacy and attempting to influence unsettled values, by which regime shifts are desired. These cases belie the notion of “settled” law and a “settled” regime, yet Congress plays a representational role by acting, and, further still, continues and perpetuates an ongoing dialogue with the other branches and national polity which would not take place otherwise.

About the Author

Matthew Field graduated summa cum laude from Western Illinois University where he also earned an M.A. in U.S. History. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma where he was a Carl Albert Congressional Fellow. He has also been an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and currently works in the U.S. Congress.