Capital Commentary is a weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice. Published since 1996, it is written to encourage the pursuit of justice. Commentaries do not necessarily represent an official position of the Center for Public Justice but are intended to help advance discussion.
Back From Recess: Recovering Congressional Leadership
by Amy E. Black

Article Summary: 

August recess is the time in the legislative calendar when the United States Senate and House of Representatives send their members back to their home states and districts for a mix of work and rest. Much of the recess is time for legislators to reconnect with constituents through meetings, community events, site visits, and interaction with local leaders and activists. The return of members of Congress to Washington next month to resume their legislative duties provides a good opportunity to reflect on the purpose and aims of this branch of government most closely connected to the people and bearing central lawmaking authority. 

In this article, Amy Black explores the ideas that animated the constitutional design of Congress, how its role has evolved, and what current challenges face the institution and its members. In considering Congress’s role in government to uphold public justice, Black offers insight into the ways that this essential legislative body can better respond to the needs of citizens and craft and refine laws for the common good.