The views of Americans about the role of expertise in governance have long been a source of disagreement and tension. According to historian Richard D. Brown (1996), the founding fathers believed that important issues of public policy should "be considered only by deliberative, representative assemblies/' The idea "that private citizens would be sufficiently informed to make policy in all ... [the important areas that government must address] was never contemplated and would have seemed absurd/' at least to the Federalists who carried the day in the constitutional debates. Thus, important policy decisions in the United States are made by representative legislative bodies like Congress instead of popular election because the founding fathers assumed that representatives would have greater mastery of relevant information and expertise.