is supposed to make law that is Congress is supposed to engage in

Is supposed to make law that is congress is supposed

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is supposed to make law; that is, Congress is supposed to engage in representative legislation. Although the Constitution does not explicitly define representative legislation, a working definition can be found in the text and history of the Constitution. Briefly, representative legislation under the Constitution should embrace two fundamental principles: (a) representative legitimacy, meaning that elected members of Congress should meet certain normative requirements to be fully authorized to act for the people; and (b) legislative effectiveness, meaning that legislation enacted by Congress should further broad national goals like those stated in the Preamble. 9 Although any given law incorporates a variety of substantive values, effective legislation can be defined as occurring under certain procedural conditions. prisoners. One of the great virtues of a constitutional system is that it allows for the self-conscious revision of government. The best available knowledge can still be used to improve government. Reference to the Constitution merely ensures that norms that were once endorsed after a rational, extended debate by a large percentage of the population will not be scrapped just because modern political and intellectual elites think they know what is "best" for America. Instead, would-be reformers must get "the People" to thoughtfully consider the old rules and judge them on their own merits while also examining the reasons the rules were adopted in the first place. See gener- ally id. (arguing that "the People" hammer out new principles to guide public life after "sus- tained debate and struggle"). Interpretation thus provides a self-conscious fusion of the present and the past by which modern people attempt to understand the reasons our government's foun- ders chose the original rules. See generally HANs-GEORG GADAMER, TRUTH AND METHOD (1975) (exploring the problem of hermeneutics, or the "phenomenon of understanding," which pervades "all human relations to the world"). 9. See generally U.S. CONST. pmbl. The full text of the Preamble is reproduced infra note 21. 1991]
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DEPAUL LAW REVIEW 1. What Congress Is Supposed To Be: Explaining Representative Legitimacy Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution sets forth three nor- mative requirements for the legitimacy of members of the House of Represent- atives. The first is that "[tihe House of Representatives shall be composed of Members ... chosen by the People of the several States." 10 The Constitution mandates that legitimate authority to act requires election by the people; thus, legitimacy is a function of popular sovereignty. The second requirement is that "[n]o person shall be a Representative ... who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen." 1 This residency re- quirement means that a representative's authoritative legitimacy comes through election by the people of the district or state in which the representa- tive lives. The third requirement for representative legitimacy in the House is that legislators should
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