John Marini

John Marini is a Professor of Political Science at University of Nevada-Reno. Professor Marini is the author of The Progressive Revolution in Politics and Political Science: Transforming the American Regime, co-edited with Ken Masugi (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005); The Politics Of Budget Control: Congress, The Presidency And Growth Of The Administrative State (Taylor & Francis, 1992) and The Imperial Congress: Crisis in the Separation of Powers, co-edited with Gordon S. Jones (World Almanac, 1989).

Congress in Search of Itself             

Sunrise behind the dome of the Capitol in DC

Christopher DeMuth had an interesting take on the election and its impact on our national institutions. In an essay for the Wall Street Journal, he wrote of the present inability of the political branches of government to function in a manner compatible with a national public good. Analyzing that failure, he pointed to what he believes is “a central purpose of the American scheme of checks and balances,” namely: to draw out the distinctive strengths of the two political branches, executive and the legislature, while containing their distinctive weaknesses. The scheme has not been working well of late. The consequences are…

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How to Put the “Most Complete and Effectual Weapon” Back in Their Hands

Indubitably, our nation’s finances are a mess. America has run deficits 36 of the past 40 years. The national debt is $18 trillion, and it has tripled as a percentage of GDP since 1974. Each February, the President rolls out his budget—a collection of tomes loaded with tables and text attempting to explain the government’s $3.7…

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More Reasons to Doubt that Separation of Powers Can Be Revived

John Marini provides an insightful commentary on Christopher Demuth’s optimistic suggestion that President Trump and the Republican Congress will be able to revive separation of powers and, by so doing, rescue us from an “autopilot government, rife with corruption and seemingly immune to incremental electoral correction” that the administrative state has created. Marini is less…

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The Real Ruling Authority

Americans are worried about the economy and jobs, about national security and safety from terrorism, about securing healthcare, about their children’s education. Lately I haven’t heard too many people talking about the problem of separation of powers. In fact, besides John Marini, Christopher DeMuth, Jonathan Turley, and a few other scholars and policy wonks, I…

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Can Congress Survive?

John Samples has revisited an old controversy concerning the fundamental purpose and function of the legislative branch of the American government.  In doing so, he has engaged the arguments of an older generation of conservative defenders of Congress, those who had been troubled by the waning influence of that institution.  Samples looked primarily to James Burnham, whose book, Congress and the American Tradition, published in 1959, raised the question whether Congress as an institution could long survive in the age of executive dominance.  Burnham was not sanguine about the prospects of its survival.  He was persuaded “that the political death…

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More Responses

Congress and the Constitution’s Tradition of Liberty

James Burnham was a literary modernist who after an experience with Trotskyite Marxism gained renown for The Managerial Revolution (1941), a study of executive centralization. Alert to the threat of totalitarian rule, Burnham joined intellectual forces with defenders of liberty in the renewal of conservatism after World War II.  His Congress and the American Tradition,…

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