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Published: Aug 20 2020


In Partnership with the Monkey Cage, Seven Essays from Democracy Reform Experts Will Recommend Reforms to the Congressional-Presidential Relationship

The University of Chicago’s nonpartisan Center for Effective Government (CEG) and the nonpartisan, nonprofit Protect Democracy announced today an essay series on reforming the relationship between Congress and the executive branch, to be published in the Monkey Cage site hosted by the Washington Post. The series, which will be authored by several experts on the federal government, kicks off with “Can Congress reclaim authority it has handed over to the president? It’s trying.,” written by Mort Halperin, a senior adviser at the Open Society Foundations and Proect Democracy's Soren Dayton. Six additional essays will follow in the coming weeks.

The series is part of the Rethinking Our Democracy initiative, which was created to present, refine, and develop momentum for institutional reforms that focus on relationships between Congress and the presidency, in the lead up to and aftermath of the 2020 election. The initiative is a partnership between the CEG and Protect Democracy.

Rethinking Our Democracy will focus on several key topics for discussion, including:

  • Strengthening Congress’s power over delegated authorities

  • Improving the legislative process

  • Reforming the National Emergencies Act

  • Creating additional checks on executive power

The authors include Soren Dayton, Liza Goitein, Mort Halperin, Liz Hempowicz, William Howell, Terry Moe, Sai Prakash, Molly Reynolds, Anne Tindall, Craig Volden, and Alan Wiseman.

Following the publishing of the essay series, the initiative plans to host a virtual conference with the authors to discuss and answer questions about the topics. More details will be forthcoming, in response to scheduling constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

More information is available at

About the CEG:

The University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government is a nonpartisan research center established in 2019 to formulate and advance ideas for strengthening democratic institutions and improving the capacity of government to solve public problems.

About Protect Democracy:

Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing American democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government. Part of its mission includes advocating for legislation to restore and improve the federal government’s system of checks and balances, as well as to curtail executive abuses of power. Read more at