NCLA Site Search

Consent of the Governed: a Constitutional Norm That the Court Should Substantially Enforce

By: David Schoenbrod

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.”1 To condition the federal government’s powers upon such consent, the Constitution vested responsibility for exercising certain basic powers, including the power to make rules of private conduct, in the branch of government most directly accountable to the governed, Congress.