Orientation and Getting Started
Early Development of the Legislative Branch and the Problem of Representation
Enumerated Powers of Congress
Implied, Expansive, and Limited Powers
The Two Congresses: Representation and Lawmaking
Separation of Powers and Interaction between the Branches
Institutional Development and Change
Congress and the American People

Course Scholars

Dan Palazzolo, Primary Scholar

Professor of Political Science
University of Richmond

Daniel Palazzolo is Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses on American government, Campaigns and Elections, Legislative Process, and Public Policy; and coordinates the Virginia General Assembly Internship. He is author of two books, including Done Deal? The Politics of the 1997 Budget Agreement, and author of over twenty articles and chapters.  He is co-editor, with James W. Ceaser, of Election Reform: Politics and Policy.  His current research includes a project entitled, “Virginia the Battleground,” which explores the evolution of Virginia to a battleground state in presidential politics, and a project on partisanship in Congress with Randall Strahan of Emory University. Dr. Palazzolo has a B.A. from Trinity College, an M.A. from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Video Scholars

Lauren Bell

Professor of Political Science and Dean of Academic Affairs
Randolph-Macon College

Dr. Lauren C. Bell holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster (Ohio) and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at The University of Oklahoma.  She is a former American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary and a former United States Supreme Court fellow at the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, DC. She is the author of Filibustering in the U.S. SenateWarring Factions: Interest Groups, Money, and the New Politics of Senate Confirmation, and The U.S. Congress: A Simulation for Students, as well as co-author of Perspectives on Political Communication: A Case Approach. Dr. Bell joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon in Fall 1999 and served as Associate Dean of the College from Fall 2007 until her appointment in 2014 as Dean of Academic Affairs.

Josh Chafetz

Professor of Law
Cornell Law School

Josh Chafetz received his B.A. from Yale University, his doctorate in Politics from Oxford (where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar), and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His research interests include structural constitutional law, American and British constitutional history, and legislation and legislative procedure. His scholarship has appeared in a number of law reviews, including the Yale Law JournalUniversity of Chicago Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Duke Law Journal. His first book, Democracy’s Privileged Few: Legislative Privilege and Democratic Norms in the British and American Constitutions, was published by Yale University Press in 2007. His second book, Congress’s Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers, is under contract with Yale University Press.

Colleen Sheehan

Professor of Political Science
Villanova University

Colleen Sheehan is a professor of politics and director of the Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University, where she teaches courses in American Political Thought and Politics and Literature. She has served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. She is author of The Mind of the Founder: James Madison and the Legacy of Classical Republicanism and James Madison and the Spirit of Republican Self-Government, co-editor of Friends of the Constitution: Writings of the Other Federalists 1787-1788, and author of numerous articles on the American Founding and 18th-century political and moral thought. She is currently collaborating with Jack Rakove on a collection of writings on “The Federalist.”

Charles Stewart III

Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research and teaching areas include congressional politics, elections, and American political development. He is an established leader in the analysis of the performance of election systems and the quantitative assessment of election performance. Since 2001, Professor Stewart has been a member of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, a leading research effort that applies scientific analysis to questions about election technology, election administration, and election reform. He received his B.A. in political science from Emory University, and S.M. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

David O. Stewart

Author of Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America and The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution

David O. Stewart is the author of The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution and Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy. The Society of the Cincinnati awarded David its 2013 History Prize for American EmperorAaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America, an examination of Burr’s Western expedition, which shook the nation’s early foundations.  The Lincoln Deception, an historical mystery about the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy, was released in late August 2013.  Bloomberg View called it the best historical novel of the year, while Publishers Weekly said it was an “impressive debut novel.”   Madison’s Gift:  Five Partnerships That Built America, was released in February 2015.  The Washington Post called it a portrait “rich in empathy and understanding” by “an acknowledged master of narrative history.” David also is president of the Washington Independent Review of Books, an online book review.