Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Giorgi Areshidze

Reader 2

George Thomas

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In this thesis I diagnose the health of the United State’s constitutional regime and extensively explore the changing relationship between Congress and the president. I began by diving into the arguments laid out in The Federalist Papers to explain the basis of America’s separation of powers system. I then explore the rise of presidential power and the increase in congressional deference and abdication through the lens of the budget process and war authority. Next, I provide suggestions for ways in which Congress should assert itself. Lastly, I provide recent indications that Congress may be willing to express its institutional will. In conclusion, I argue that the modern world has changed the incentive structure for representatives who now cater primarily to their constituents and avoid making controversial decisions instead of acting as a check on executive power. I distribute blame between Congress and American citizens for allowing this change to occur and stress the importance of civic education and civic participation in a healthy constitutional regime.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.