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President Trump before the State of the Union address. Source: White House, public domain.

Editor’s Introduction | Interbranch Relations and the Struggle for Power

Charles J. Finocchiaro | Editor "But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others."1 – James Madison In the wake of the 2018 midterm elections, American national government returned to divided party control - a scenario that has been more common than not since the late 1960s. While scholarship has shown that unified party control of Congress ...

Bending the Rules: How Procedures Matter in the Bureaucracy

Rachel Augustine Potter | University of Virginia Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) served in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 60 years and currently holds the record as the longest-serving member of Congress in history. He survived so long because he knew how to get legislation through the chamber, once quipping, “If you let me write the procedures and I let ...

Partisan Trends in Congressional Oversight, 1987-2016

Jason MacDonald | University of West Virginia The results of the 2018 midterm elections have focused the attention of journalists, scholars, lawmakers and even President Trump on congressional oversight. By oversight, I mean the use of congressional investigations and hearings to examine decisions made in the executive branch. The new Democratic majority is expected to use its control of congressional ...

How Supreme Court Errors Expand Presidential Power

Louis Fisher | The Constitution Project at POGO In 1953, Justice Robert Jackson offered this judgment about the Supreme Court: “we are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”2 Perhaps cleverly written, but the Court has never been infallible or final. It makes errors, ...

News from the Center

Morgan's Manual

News from the Center | Dick T. Morgan Collection

Dick T. Morgan was born Dec. 6, 1853, in Vigo County, Indiana. He received a B.S. in 1876 from Union Christian College (Meron, Indiana) and an LL.B. in 1880 from Central Law School (Indianapolis). From 1880 to 1881, he served in the Indiana state legislature. Dick T. Morgan. Photograph from the Dick T. Morgan Collection, Carl Albert Center. In 1889 he moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma, where he practiced law, dealt in real estate, and became active in politics, the Republican Party and religious affairs. He ran ...

Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture Series

The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture is sponsored and administered by the Carl Albert Center, University of Oklahoma. The lecture addresses two principles that are of significance to Mr. Rothbaum: the importance of the relationship between education and public service in a representative democracy and the importance of participation by private citizens in public affairs. Rothbaum lecturers are sought from among the most able and discerning observers of American life. The lectures, suitably revised and extended, are individually published as a book by the University of Oklahoma Press. The published volumes form an invaluable repository of analysis and reflection upon the American condition.

For more information about the series, please visit the OU Press.

About the Center

Carl Albert U.S. Congressman, Speaker of the House

Carl Albert, U.S. Congressman (Oklahoma), Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, DC, March 12, 1976. Photograph by Richard Avedon. © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Carl Albert Center

The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center is a nonpartisan institution established in 1979 by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma as a living tribute to the ideals, leadership, and accomplishments of the Honorable Carl Albert, native Oklahoman, University of Oklahoma alumnus, Rhodes Scholar, and 46th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The Center is devoted to teaching, research, and public service related to the United States Congress and more broadly to strengthening representative democracy through engaged and informed citizens. The Center’s archives include the papers of over 60 former members of congress, along with the papers of 25 political leaders, congressional staffers, and journalists.

  1. James Madison, Federalist No. 51.
  2. Brown v. Allen, 344 U.S. 443, 540 (1953).