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Columbia Law School

Constitutional Law

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law

2015

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Separations Of Wealth: Inequality And The Erosion Of Checks And Balances, Kate Andrias Jan 2015

Separations Of Wealth: Inequality And The Erosion Of Checks And Balances, Kate Andrias

Faculty Scholarship

American government is dysfunctional: Gridlock, filibusters, and expanding presidential power, everyone seems to agree, threaten our basic system of constitutional governance. Who, or what, is to blame? In the standard account, the fault lies with the increasing polarization of our political parties. That standard story, however, ignores an important culprit: Concentrated wealth and its organization to achieve political ends. The only way to understand our current constitutional predicament – and to rectify it – is to pay more attention to the role that organized wealth plays in our system of checks and balances.

This Article shows that the increasing concentration of wealth ...