Goodman, Thomas. “Constitutional Dysfunction”, Boston College, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:106968.
There is a widespread belief among Americans that the nation’s political system suffers from dysfunction. It is, therefore, worth asking whether the Constitution has been complicit in contributing to the perceived political dysfunction. Does the United States, in effect, suffer from constitutional dysfunction? I conclude that political and societal developments subsequent to the Founding have retooled and repurposed American governing institutions, rendering their function antithetical to the original design of the Constitution. The long-term and collective effects of these changes may contribute to contemporary constitutional dysfunction. At the outset, I discuss general purposes and functions of constitutions. By describing constitutional functionality, we can better grasp the nature of when constitutions work and when they fail to function. As such, we will be best equipped to not only design a metric by which to measure constitutional dysfunction, but to apply this rubric to the American regime. “Chapter Two” will detail the framing of the American Constitution and explore the principles undergirding its creation. “Chapter Three” will cover the so-called “unfounding,” the processes and developments which have changed the character of governing institutions. “Chapter Four” will focus on proposed solutions which may be both misguided and potentially problematic. Finally, “Chapter Five” will consider the best approach to addressing American constitutional dysfunction.