Congress Needs to Step Up

In the 1960s, the duties of Congress were growing, but its willingness to handle its work was disappearing.

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—Excerpt from “Congress Must Reform” by Roscoe Drummond, February 9, 1963

The Congress of the United States has virtually lost its capacity to transact the public business. Today Congress is not even the second most influential branch of the government. It is third. For a decade the second most influential branch of the government has been the judiciary.

Until 1957, Congress had gone 80 years without passing any meaningful legislation protecting civil rights, and finally the Supreme Court had to act. It was left for individual citizens to petition the judiciary for redress — and the judicial branch filled the vacuum created by the failure of Congress to act.

Our whole system of checks and balances, which depends on a strong legislative body, is in grave danger. Congress will continue to decline in importance unless it is radically reorganized and equipped to discharge its vast responsibilities.

 

Read the entire article “Congress Must Reform” from the February 9, 1962, issue of the Post.

This article appears in the January/February 2023 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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