Constitution

Is the Constitution Even Welcome Here Anymore?

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“The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out ‘stop!’ When crimes begin to pile up they ... [click for more]

What Americans Should Know about the Constitution

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Having just finished reading a new biography of H.L. Mencken, I was intrigued when I discovered that the Washington Post had an online section about politics called “Monkey Cage.” It was Mencken who said, “Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” “Monkey Cage’”s mission “is to connect political scientists and the political conversation by ... [click for more]

The Supreme Court’s Destruction of Liberty of Contract

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Found in Article I, Section 10, of the Constitution, the Contract Clause is a failed attempt to prevent the government from taking actions that would compromise the integrity of contractual obligations — failed, in large part, because of the 1934 Supreme Court case Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell. Blaisdell is arguably the centerpiece of the Supreme Court’s ... [click for more]

The Supreme Court, Federalism, and Limited Government

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of whether a biological female who identifies as a male can use the boys’ restroom in a Virginia high school. Parties who are not satisfied with the decision of a U.S. Court of Appeals (or a state supreme court if it is deemed a constitutional issue) can petition the ... [click for more]

‘We the Prisoners’: The Demise of the Fourth Amendment

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“Our carceral state banishes American citizens to a gray wasteland far beyond the promises and protections the government grants its other citizens… When the doors finally close and one finds oneself facing banishment to the carceral state—the years, the walls, the rules, the guards, the inmates—reactions vary. Some experience an intense sickening feeling. Others, a strong desire ... [click for more]

Economic Liberty and The Slaughterhouse Cases

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Are economic rights and liberties among the “privileges or immunities” of citizenship protected by the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment? That was the simple question before the Supreme Court in the Slaughterhouse Cases, the opinion which is today almost uniformly denounced in the legal academy. Scholars of all political and interpretive commitments have come to reject Slaughterhouse as among the Court’s ... [click for more]

It’s Not Just the Unborn Being Denied Rights Under the Constitution

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“The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”—Hillary Clinton, Meet the Press (April 3, 2016) When presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declares that unborn babies do not have constitutional rights, she’s not just spouting partisan rhetoric in the heated national debate over abortion. She’s providing us with a glimpse into an increasingly troubling mindset among government officials who ... [click for more]

The Battle for the Supreme Court

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Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court by Damon Root (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 274 pages. Every case that comes before the U.S. Supreme Court has its unique factual setting and contentious legal issues, but in a large percentage of them, the decision ultimately comes down to this: Should the Court defer to the legislative ... [click for more]

The Landmark Case That Destroyed Economic Liberty

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If the Supreme Court’s 1905 holding in Lochner v. New York is the widely reviled embodiment of the constitutional right to freedom of contract, then West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish is its celebrated antithesis. The New Deal era case has been identified with the beginning of a “Constitutional Revolution” that freed progressive social policy to march triumphantly onward. ... [click for more]

Securing the Blessings of Liberty

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The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty by Timothy Sandefur (Cato Institute, 2014), 200 pages. In his book The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty, Timothy Sandefur, an attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation and a Cato Institute adjunct scholar, argues that “the primacy ... [click for more]
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