The Broken Branch

If there’s one branch of government that almost everyone agrees isn’t working, it’s Congress.

And what we’ve seen in the past week from the executive and in the courts makes clear how important it is to get serious about legislation.

For years (and several administrations), we’ve become accustomed to focusing on the bounds of interpretation — as (generally) pushed by the executive and checked by the judiciary. To cite one popular example, presidents are still waging war around the world on the basis of the blank check given to George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. And this week brought fears about overturning Roe — which of course is an interpretation in its own right.

It’s not enough to be right on the merits or in line with the culture. Often, it’s not even enough to be ahead in the polls. Sooner or later, it’s time to legislate.