Although the U.S. Constitution has built-in restrictions that limit the power of majorities, the rise of the administrative state has compromised the potency of elections. As a consequence, the ultimate protection is not the veto power of the people wielded during normal elections but the constituent power possessed by the people. This constituent power—constitutional populism—adopted the Constitution, has amended it, and may be used today to challenge the rule of the technocrats.

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and President of the Greenville, SC, Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.
Other Independent Review articles by William J. Watkins, Jr.
Winter 2023/24 How to Interpret the Constitution
Fall 2021 Chaining Down Leviathan: The American Dream of Self-Government, 1776–1865
Spring 2021 America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding
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