In May of 1980, George J. Mitchell took the oath of office that all United States Senators have taken since 1868. The fourteen and one-half years of Mitchell's Senate service were a time of institutional and political tumult. For only two and one-half of those years were the Congress and the presidency controlled by the same party; only in those same two and one-half years did Mitchell serve with a President who was a member of his own party. This Article will examine a number of the most important constitutional issues that came before the Senate from 1980 through 1994. It will explore the positions George Mitchell took on those issues and seek to identify from his words and actions the constitutional philosophy that guided George Mitchell's personal efforts to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It will focus primarily on the controversies in which Mitchell participated most actively: the Iran-Contra investigation, the war powers debate, various confirmation struggles, and proposals to amend the Constitution itself.

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