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Governing During Social Distancing


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Governing During Social Distancing

Von We the People

Länge: 44 min


Congress and the courts depend on meeting in-person, so how can they adjust to the coronavirus outbreak and the public health measures necessary to stop its spread – like social distancing – while continuing to meet their constitutional functions? Host Jeffrey Rosen explores that question with Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, who’s worked since the aftermath of 9/11 on emergency-preparedness recommendations for all three branches of government, and lawyer and podcast host Ken White, who sheds light on how the pandemic is affecting his clients and the courts more broadly. They share insight into what’s keeping Congress from meeting virtually, how courts will deal with suspended arguments, what might happen to incarcerated people in the midst of the pandemic, continuing concerns about presidential succession, and more—in a wide-ranging conversation on how the U.S. government functions during a national emergency, and what reforms may be necessary to ensure it can continue to function in future crises.  

A term that will be helpful to know for this episode — Quorum: a majority, in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. The Constitution requires a majority of senators, 51, for a quorum, and, when there are no vacancies in its membership, a quorum in the House is 218. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution stipulates that “a majority of each [House] shall constitute a quorum to do business.”  

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