Deion A. Kathawa—a Mt. Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness, regular contributor to American Greatness, and a J.D. candidate at Notre Dame Law School—has been announced as the winner of the Federalist Society’s second annual Article I Initiative Writing Contest.
An all-star panel of judges—Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, University of Virginia Professor of Law Lillian BeVier, and the Honorable Chris DeMuth—read anonymous submissions from across the country addressing the theme, “Ambition Counteracting Ambition: Enduring Principle or Failed Experiment?”
Kathawa’s essay, entitled “Ambition Can Still Be Made to Counteract Ambition—Just Not in the Way Madison Envisioned,” was selected as the first-place winner. The judges characterized Kathawa’s essay as “perceptively and methodically catalog[ing] the historical and more recent causes of the breakdown of our constitutional system as our founders imagined it. He includes instances where the founder’s predictions of how their system would act as a check on itself and its component parts has failed.”
The judges note that his essay
begins with the observation that Congress’ effectiveness, popularity, and power seem to be in inexorable decline over the last century. From there he builds an insightful outline of the social, legal, and cultural changes that have contributed to that branches’ current lethargy. Lastly, he lays out a vision for using the judicial branches’ self-interest to force Congress to reassert itself and maintain its constitutional duties.
They conclude by saying the “analysis and . . . central thesis are well crafted and worthy of serious consideration.”
The mission of Federalist Society’s Article I Initiative is to “restore Congress to its rightful place in the Constitutional order.” It aims also “to bring the left and the right together to ensure that the Constitutional balance leans heavily towards the institution which is meant to be most representative of the American people.”