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The Constitution Education Foundation


Friday, September 28, 2012

The New American

Our technocratic future. a

Wesley J. Smith

October 1, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 03

To paraphrase Freud: Liberals, what do they really want? Not the communism or socialism of the right’s fever dreams. They know that didn’t work. Today’s liberal agenda is more akin to the corporatist vision of the 1920s and ’30s—an economy in which the state directs the activities of the private sector to achieve ideologically desired ends. But even that description doesn’t quite get to the nub of it. Liberals today seek to create a stable, and what they perceive to be a socially just, society via rule by experts—in which most of the activities of society are micromanaged by technocrats for the economic and social benefit of the whole. In other words, social democracy without the messiness of democracy, like the European Union’s rule-by-bureaucrats-in-Brussels. This is the “fundamental transformation” that President Obama seeks to implement in this country.

Read more:


Tea party leader: Movement’s role ‘more important and more difficult’ if Romney wins

Published: 1:05 AM 09/28/2012  

If Mitt Romney becomes president, don’t expect the tea party movement to just fade away without Barack Obama in the White House.
Read more:

Supreme Court Faces Affirmative Action and Gay Marriage


WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2012

For anyone fearing that this Supreme Court term might lack the drama of the last one: fear not.

Read more:

As the UN opens its General Assembly session, it is already thinking up new global taxes

By George Russell

Published September 27, 2012

A 1 percent tax on billionaires around the world.  A tax on all currency trading in the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.   Another  “tiny”  tax on all financial transactions, including stock and bond trading, and trading in financial derivatives.  New taxes on carbon emissions and on airline tickets.  A royalty on all undersea mineral resources extracted more than 100 miles offshore of any nation’s territory.

Read more:

The Arab Spring Becomes a Western Winter

Andrew Napolitano|Sep. 27, 2012 7:30 am

Is the Arab Middle East ready for democracy? We know how the past two American presidents have answered this.

The revised stated purpose behind President George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq was to build a new world order by forcing democracy on populations to whom it was truly alien. The original stated purpose for invading Afghanistan was to destroy the folks who provided shelter to the 9/11 attackers, and the original stated purpose for invading Iraq was to rid it of a government that possessed and might use weapons of mass destruction.

Read more:

Will California Become a Right-to-Give State?

By Michael M. Rosen Thursday, September 27, 2012

How the Golden State may unshackle workers from their union overlords.

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors,” Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “is sinful and tyrannical.”

Read more:

Denial of Medical Choice: Even Worse Than Activists Think

A. Barton Hinkle|Sep. 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Abortion-rights advocates are seriously cheesed off at Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for strong-arming the state’s Board of Health into approving tough new clinic regulations. The advocates fear government bureaucrats could use burdensome rules to reduce access to medical care.


Rights group: isolation units in California prisons cruel

By Mary Slosson

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) – The use of solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison constitutes cruel and degrading treatment in violation of international law, according to Amnesty International report released on Thursday.

Read more:

Taxes Without Borders

World Health Organization mulling global cigarette tax

BY: CJ Ciaramella
September 27, 2012 5:00 am

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a global excise tax of up to 70 percent on cigarettes at an upcoming November conference, raising concerns among free market tax policy analysts about fiscal sovereignty and bureaucratic mission creep.

Read more:

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring at 50 Years

Joshua Swain | September 27, 2012

“It’s not polite to talk about brown and black people dying because rich white people in America feel better about themselves when the brown and black people don’t get to use DDT,” says the University of Alabama’s Andrew Morriss, co-editor of the new book Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson.


The IRS Has Gone Rogue

by Michael F. Cannon and Jonathan H. Adler

Added to on September 26, 2012

This article appeared in National Review (Online) on September 26, 2012.

A president who says “I haven’t raised taxes” has authorized his Internal Revenue Service issue a “final rule” that will illegally tax some 12 million individuals, plus large employers, in as many as 40 states beginning in 2014. Oklahoma’s attorney general has asked a federal court to block this rule. Members of Congress have introduced legislation in both the House and the Senate to quash it.

Read more:

Cyberbullying Law Threatens Student Speech in North Carolina

John K. Ross|

This summer, prompted by complaints from teachers, North Carolina legislators passed a law criminalizing student-on-teacher cyberbullying. The measure creates a Class 2 misdemeanor—on par with simple assault or resisting arrest and punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine—for students who use computers with the “intent to intimidate or torment” school employees. 

Read more:

California Gov. Signs Bill Allowing Non-Doctors to Perform Abortions

  • Posted on September 26, 2012

Over the weekend, Governor Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) signed legislation that expands a controversial trial program allowing less-trained members of the medical community to provide abortions.

Read more:

The Internet Doesn’t Need More Regulation

By Jeffrey Eisenach Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Filed under: Science & Technology, Government & Politics

Two cases on data roaming and net neutrality deal with similar economic issues: Will more regulation improve the market for Internet-based communications?

Last Thursday, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on whether to uphold the Federal Communications Commission’s so-called “data roaming” rules, which would impose new open-access regulations on wireless broadband companies. The issues at bar—including whether imposing such a requirement on an Internet carrier amounts to “common carrier” regulation—are similar to the issues the court will face when it rules on the FCC’s net neutrality regulations next year. The economic issues in the two cases are also closely related: Simply put, will more regulation improve the market for Internet-based communications?

Read more:

The Economic Case against Arizona’s Immigration Laws

by Alex Nowrasteh Alex Nowrasteh is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

Alex Nowrasteh is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

Published on September 25, 2012

Arizona’s immigration laws have hurt its economy. The 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) attempts to force unauthorized immigrants out of the workplace with employee regulations and employer sanctions. The 2010 Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) complements LAWA by granting local police new legal tools to enforce Arizona’s immigration laws outside of the workplace.

Read more:

Three States Join Constitutional Challenge to Dodd-Frank

by Publius
Posted September 24, 2012, 10:18 AM

Back in June, FedSocBlog noted that C. Boyden Gray filed a lawsuit claiming that the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is unconstitutional. Now, BLT: The Blog of Legal Times reports that major parties have joined the suit:

Read more:

HOLLAND: Obama quietly implements Common Core

Federal funds buy control of school curriculum

New standards for math and English called Common Core are poised to hit public schools across the nation. Some schools will begin implementing them as early as this fall, before parents have any inkling what has happened to their children’s classroom instruction.

Read more: HOLLAND: Obama quietly implements Common Core – Washington Times

There’s A Basic Flaw At The Heart Of Obamacare

Bruce Krasting, My Take On Financial Events | Sep. 22, 2012, 8:14 PM

 Remember the big flap about the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act (AKA – Obamacare – ACA)? The issue that made the headlines was that the Supremes ruled that ACA was legal, provided that the penalty for not having health insurance was collected as a tax.

 Read more:


Buying Gas at Ethanol-15 Pumps

By Elizabeth Harrington

September 19, 2012 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that all consumers in the United States must purchase at least 4 gallons of gasoline when they go to the gas station, if they are getting fuel from a pump that also offers a new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend.


NY court to hear arguments in gay marriage case

September 18, 2012, 3:23 p.m. ET

NEW YORK — The Defense of Marriage Act is set for a showdown in a federal appeals court later this month between those who say it is right for the government to speak of marriage only in heterosexual terms and those who say doing so discriminates against same-sex unions.

Read more:

Poll: Most Americans Support Limits on Political Spending

By Joe Palazzolo  September 17, 2012, 11:58 AM

The Associated Press and the National Constitution Center this weekend released the findings of wide-ranging poll that covered several issues near and dear to LB nation, including political spending, same-sex marriage and the relevancy of the Constitution. The AP also has a story on the poll, which was conducted in August and drew on telephone interviews with 1,006 adults nationwide.

Read more:

The Magnitude of the Mess We’re In

September 16, 2012, 7:03 p.m. E

The next Treasury secretary will confront problems so daunting that even Alexander Hamilton would have trouble preserving the full faith and credit of the United States.

By George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer and John B. Taylor

Sometimes a few facts tell important stories. The American economy now is full of facts that tell stories that you really don’t want, but need, to hear.

Where are we now?

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Pentagon to Buy 1,500 Chevy Volts

Written by  Brian Koenig       Wednesday, 12 September 2012 16:25

General Motors, the financially strained U.S. automaker that absorbed billions of taxpayer dollars through the auto bailout, has secured a new deep-pocketed customer for its purportedly failed electric Chevy Volt: the Pentagon. The Department of Defense is seeking to make the federal government’s military operation more “environmentally-friendly” by reducing its use of fossil fuels with a conversion to electric vehicles.

Read more:

Constitutional Issues in the News

Newsletter   September 04, 2012

The New American

September 4, 2012, 4:13 PM
Judge Orders Sex-Change Operation for Prisoner

By Joe Palazzolo

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal judge in Boston has ordered Massachusetts authorities to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation for a transgender prisoner

Read more:

September 3, 2012
Dreaming Up a New America: Progressive Education and the Perversion of American Democracy
By L.E. Ikenga
As opposed to the 2008 election, which had many frustrated and emotionally charged voters dreaming up a new America with a historic presidential candidate leading the charge, the 2010 midterms had people doing the exact opposite.  In 2010, a majority of Americans stopped dreaming and started to face reality.  America was accelerating toward an irreversible and all-encompassing decline.  The path envisioned by the president and his supporters for a radically changed United States was starting to look like a dead end.  America was breaking down.

Read more:

How Ag Gag Laws Suppress Free Speech and the Marketplace of Ideas

Baylen Linnekin|
Sep. 1, 2012 8:00 am Late last month the group Compassion Over Killing, a pro-vegetarian animal rights group, posted video it obtained from an activist working undercover at a California slaughterhouse. Among other things, the ghastly video shows workers using a bolt gun to half-stun cattle before the cows were sent, alive and obviously suffering, down an assembly line to be tethered in the air by one leg on the way to being slaughtered.
Read more:

August 31, 2012, 7:57 p.m. ET
American Character Is at Stake
The American republic has endured for well over two centuries, but over the past 50 years, the apparatus of American governance has undergone a radical transformation. In some basic respects—its scale, its preoccupations, even many of its purposes—the U.S. government today would be scarcely recognizable to Franklin D. Roosevelt, much less to Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson.
Read more:

DOJ Targeted Public Library for Lending E-Books ‘Inaccessible’ to the Blind
By Elizabeth Harrington
August 31, 2012

( – The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached a settlement with the Sacramento (California) Public Library over a trial program the library was conducting that let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble NOOK e-book readers.
Read more:

August 29, 2012, 5:48 PM
Obama Talks Campaign Finance on Reddit

By Jared A. Favole
President Barack Obama on Wednesday suggested amending the U.S. Constitution to undo a Supreme Court decision that allows unlimited spending on elections by corporations, unions and anyone else who can write a big check, looking to highlight the influence of money in politics even as there is little he can do about it this election.
Read more:

THE EDITOR’S COLUMN: Presidential race boils down to one issue
Published: Sunday, August 19, 2012
THERE’S really only one issue in the 2012 presidential race; all the rest is trivia. That one issue is: Do you want to be in control of your life, or do you want government to control your life?
Read more:

Institute for Justice wins another major victory for economic liberty on behalf of Utah hairbraider
Mark J. Perry | August 10, 2012, 5:38 pm
In April 2011, I featured the Institute for Justice’s lawsuit challenging Utah’s cosmetology cartel on behalf of African hairbraider Jestina Clayton. Prior to the Utah case, the Institute for Justice had successfully challenged state cosmetology regulations in seven states on behalf of hairbraiders, and had never lost a case.  IJ’s record against state cosmetology cartels is now 8-0 with a favorable ruling this week in Utah, here are the details:
Read more:

Agency’s decision on beetle could affect Keystone XL pipeline
By Paul Hammel

LINCOLN — A federal agency’s recent decision involving the endangered American burying beetle could cause up to a year’s delay in construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, if the project wins federal approval, an environmental group said Tuesday.

Read more:


August 18, 2012

The New American

How Romney, Ryan, and the Republicans Fell in Love With a Big Government Program
Jonathan Cohn
August 17, 2012 | 5:05 pm
We’ve spent a lot of time arguing about Medicare this week: What each of the presidential candidates is proposing and what it would mean for seniors. But sometimes, with all of the gobbledygook about benefit guarantees and growth rates, it’s easy to lose sight of what each side of the debate really wants. And that’s the real issue. Who believes in Medicare and who doesn’t? Who thinks that government should guarantee that all seniors have a defined set of benefits and who does not?
Read more:

Friday, 17 August 2012 17:45
Food Freedom Fighters Organize Lemonade Freedom Day
Written by  Michael Tennant
Selling lemonade, raw milk, or any other comestible is not a crime. That is the message of the second annual Lemonade Freedom Day. The event, to be held at the U.S. Capitol’s reflecting pool at noon Saturday, is being organized by the groups Lemonade Freedom Day and the Raw Milk Freedom Riders, both of which want the government to stop interfering in voluntary exchanges between food producers and food consumers.
Read more:

Paul Ryan and the Real Enemy of Medicare
Steve Chapman|
Aug. 16, 2012 10:30 am If you are on a pleasant walk and someone comes out of nowhere to demand that you stop and turn around, you may regard him as an unwelcome interloper. Until, that is, you learn that he’s saving you from going over a cliff. In that case, you might realize that a real friend is someone who tells you the truth even when it isn’t welcome.
Read more:

Funeral Rights and Speech Rights
Jacob Sullum|
Aug. 15, 2012 7:00 am On June 21, 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that made flag burning a state crime, ruling that it violated the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. A month later, Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Texas) introduced a bill that made flag burning a federal crime. Approved by Congress that fall, the new law was overturned by the Supreme Court the following year.
Read more:

August 14, 2012, 4:48 PM
Is Impersonating a Police Officer Your First Amendment Right?
By Joe Palazzolo
No, it seems.
In one of the first cases to deploy the Supreme Court’s June decision striking down the Stolen Valor Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday held 2-1 that Virginia’s law against impersonating a police officer is constitutional.
Read  more;

The Bypassing of Representative Government
by Kirk F. MacKenzie
Founder of Defend Rural AmericaTM

Government is responsible for two things: setting policy, and enforcing that policy.
Representative government is being bypassed by the creation of unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent regional planning bodies that serve the interests of their so-called stakeholders rather than those of the People. This is done by usurping the policy-making authority of legitimate government. The politically correct term for this is governance, as contrasted to government.
Read more:

June 20, 2012
Obama’s Patriotism
By Lauri B. Regan
Last week, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, at which I sat next to former Navy SEAL, Leif Babin.  Among Leif’s numerous and impressive accomplishments is his completion of three tours in Iraq, earning a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart.  Not only was I proud to have an opportunity to talk with one of our nation’s heroes, but I was in awe of his bravery, candor, and pride in serving our great country.  Leif is a true patriot.
Read more;

Monday, 06 August 2012 14:40

Privacy and Health Concerns on “Smart Meters” Growing Globally
Written by  Alex Newman
As the international effort to deploy so-called “smart meters” to monitor electricity usage marches on, resistance to the controversial devices is increasing around the world as well. Proponents argue that the scheme could save money and reduce energy use. Opponents from across the political spectrum, however, worry that the smart meters might not be just a stupid idea and a waste of money — they could actually be dangerous in more ways than one
Read more:

House Republicans Oppose, but May Fund, Attack on Religious Liberty
Written by  Jack Kenny
Even as Republicans campaign in this year’s election on a promise to repeal President Obama’s signature health care program, the party’s leadership in the House appears ready to continue funding for ObamaCare and its controversial mandate that employers include coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs in health care plans for their employees.
Read more:

The Morphing of the Tea Party
By Lee Cary
The Tea Party movement morphed from protest signs to campaign signs….
The U.S. Army’s 2010 contingency plan for how to engage in “Full Spectrum Operations” — in other words, how to make war — within the U.S. borders against U.S. citizens uses a hypothetical situation where insurrectionists are “motivated by the goals of the ‘tea party’ movement.”
Read more:

The New American

After defeat of Senate cybersecurity bill, Obama weighs executive-order option
By Brendan Sasso – 08/04/12 02:40 PM ET
Senate Republicans recently blocked cybersecurity legislation, but the issue might not be dead after all.
The White House hasn’t ruled out issuing an executive order to strengthen the nation’s defenses against cyber attacks if Congress refuses to act.
Read more:
August 3, 2012, 3:58 PM ET

Courts Sides with NYPD on No-Protest Zones
By Sean Gardiner
A federal appeals court upheld a ruling supporting the New York Police Department’s policy of no-protest zones at the Republican National Convention in 2004.
Read more:
August 2, 2012, 11:21 AM
Sixth Circuit Tosses Pastors’ Challenge to the Hate Crimes Act
By Joe Palazzolo
A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit filed by three Michigan pastors who say a federal hate crimes law violates their constitutional right to denounce homosexuality.
Read more:

Top 10 Libertarian Supreme Court Decisions
Damon W. Root|
Aug. 2, 2012 1:30 pmIt’s no secret the U.S. Supreme Court has often been a disappointment to libertarians. Whether the justices are giving the green light to eminent domain abuse, securing absolute immunity for dissolute prosecutors, or rubber-stamping the latest power grab from Washington, the Court routinely fails to live up to James Madison’s famous description of the judicial branch as “an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive.”
Read more:

Celebrating the End of the Fairness Doctrine
Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg|
Aug. 4, 2012 8:20 amOn August 4th, 1987 the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to repeal the fairness doctrine, its policy requiring broadcasters to air all sides of a controversial issue. Despite its lofty name, the fairness doctrine was abolished over concerns that it had a chilling effect on free speech.
Read more:

The New York Police Department Declares Open Season on the First Amendment
Michael Tracey|
Aug. 5, 2012 12:00 pm Last fall, during the Occupy Wall Street movement’s putative heydey, media attention tended to focus on a select few
Read more
March 16, 2012

Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Read more:
Newsletter 7-6-12

Top court will hear ex-teacher

July 6, 2012

By Carine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

July 6–The Ohio Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear an appeal filed by a Mount Vernon teacher fired for teaching creationism and religious doctrine in his middle-school science classroom.

Read more:

Linda P. Campbell: Chief justice is not a neutral umpire

July 6, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts is brilliant and quotable.

That doesn’t necessarily make him right.

Read more:

Scalia’s Wise Dissent

By Lee Harris Thursday, July 5, 2012

Filed under: Big Ideas, Government & Politics

Critics of Justice Scalia’s dissent have lambasted him for his reference to Obama and have mocked his admission that his mind was ‘boggled’ by the government’s arguments. Yet none has addressed the heart of his quite powerful argument.

Read more:


Court’s Divided Ending Belied Unusual Unity

July 5, 2012, 7:19 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The acrimony surrounding last week’s health-care decision obscured a significant feature of the Supreme Court term that it capped: Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the court displayed unexpected consensus on some cases that once had seemed likely to trigger deep ideological splits.

Read more:


Roberts Didn’t Expand Government’s Taxing Power

By Sean Trende – July 5, 2012

I’ve been a little surprised by the continued outrage on the right and chest-thumping on the left regarding the Supreme Court’s health care decision. The right got everything it wanted in the ruling, save for the actual outcome. The left got legal reasoning that, up until the minute the decision was handed down, it had maintained would mark the end of government as we know it. Sad to say, but the main takeaway is that most court-watchers, left and right, care a lot about the outcome and very little about the law.

Read more:


A Vast New Federal Power

By Judge Andrew Napolitano


Of the 17 lawyers who have served as chief justice of the United States, John Marshall — the fourth chief justice — has come to be known as the “Great Chief Justice.” The folks who have given him that title are the progressives who have largely written the history we are taught in government schools. They revere him because he is the intellectual progenitor of federal power.

Read more :


Judicial Betrayal

By Thomas Sowell


Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington — too often, Republicans — who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness.

Read more:


Insight: Florida man sees ‘cruel’ face of U.S. justice

Wed, Jul 4 2012

By Tom Brown

MIAMI (Reuters) – Quartavious Davis is still shocked by what happened to him in federal court two months ago.

“My first offense, and they gave me all this time,” said Davis, a pudgy African American with dreadlocks who spoke with Reuters at the Federal Detention Center in Miami. “Might just as well say I’m dead.”

Read more:


Obama’s Disaster-Prone Presidency

Would it shock you to hear that presidents play politics with disaster relief?

Gene Healy | July 3, 2012

Last week brought raging Colorado wildfires and a massive mid-Atlantic storm that killed 13 and left three million without power. And when hard luck and bad weather strike, a presidential visit is sure to follow. It’s part of the modern president’s job to descend upon the wounded land, ministering to the afflicted with soothing words and truckloads of federal aid.

Read more:


The Ghost of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes Gets a Second Chance

By James V. DeLong Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Filed under: Government & Politics, Health & Medicine

The parallels between these New Deal laws, particularly the National Industrial Recovery Act, and ObamaCare practically write themselves.

Few commenters on the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare accept that a legal thinker as sophisticated as Chief Justice John Roberts could really believe that the law should be upheld under Congress’s taxing power. In any case, if the Court was going to go baying off down the taxing power track, the issues needed much more analysis than the throw-away treatment they got in the course of the litigation.

Read more:

ObamaCare’s now a bigger mess


Last Updated: 12:27 AM, July 3, 2012

Posted: 10:36 PM, July 2, 2012

If the new health care law wasn’t enough of a mess before last week’s Supreme Court decision, that ruling actually added another layer of cost, complexity and political contentiousness to the bill.

Read more:


The Healthcare Myths We Must Confront

By Cliff Asness Friday, June 29, 2012

Filed under: Health & Medicine

As debate about whether ObamaCare is a good idea continues, rejecting four major misconceptions about healthcare is crucial to any chance of our eventually emerging with a better system.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision, we must refocus. The Court’s decision was never about whether ObamaCare was a good idea, only about whether it was constitutional. The Court found a convoluted way to uphold the law.

Read more:


Chief Justice Roberts and His Apologists

Some conservatives see a silver lining in the ObamaCare ruling. But it’s exactly the big-government disaster it appears to be.


White House judge-pickers sometimes ask prospective nominees about their favorite Supreme Court justice. The answers can reveal a potential judge’s ideological leanings without resorting to litmus tests. Republican presidential candidates similarly promise to appoint more judges like so-and-so to reassure the conservative base.

 Read more


The Chief Justice Done Good

By Dov Fischer

June 29, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts has handed a remarkable victory to American conservatives by threading the judicial needle with perfect precision.  The initial disappointment collectively felt by Americans who had hoped for a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Obamacare soon will be replaced, upon further reflection, by the excitement that will come with a fuller appreciation of what the Chief Justice has wrought.

Read more:

The New Textualists’ Finest Hour?

By Michael M. Rosen Thursday, June 28, 2012

Filed under: Big Ideas

The New Textualists found a receptive audience in the separate opinion authored by Justice Ginsburg and joined, mostly, by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

“Every crowd has a silver lining,” P.T. Barnum once quipped, but the New Textualists—a group of liberal legal theorists espousing a new explication of and fidelity to the Constitution’s text—should be taking the famous promoter seriously in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a key part of ObamaCare.

Read more:


Laying Claim to the Constitution: The Promise of New Textualism

James E. Ryan

University of Virginia School of Law
May 13, 2011
Virginia Law Review, Vol. 97, November 2011
Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2011-19

Living constitutionalism is largely dead. So, too, is old-style originalism. Instead, there is increasing convergence in the legal academy around what might be called “new textualism.” The core principle of new textualism is that constitutional interpretation must start with a determination, based on evidence from the text, structure, and enactment history, of what the language in the Constitution actually means.


This might not sound revolutionary. But it is. This Article explains how we have arrived at this point, why it is significant, and what work remains to be done. In particular, it explains why new textualism is especially important to progressives, as it offers them both a principled and promising means by which to lay claim to the Constitution. New textualists are effectively rebutting, once and for all, the false but still-common perceptions that only conservatives care about the text of the Constitution and that the Constitution itself is fundamentally a conservative document. If new textualists succeed in their effort to show that the Constitution – all of it, including the amendments – is actually a quite progressive document, this reorientation would represent the most significant shift in constitutional theory and politics in more than a generation.

Read more:


Is the U.S. becoming an anti-risk welfare state?

Economist Niall Ferguson on why the West ruled for centuries and how the rest of the world is quickly catching up

By: Vito J. Racanelli

From: Barron’s

Date: Wednesday May 23rd, 2012

In his latest book, Civilization, The West and the Rest, the economic and financial historian Niall Ferguson argues that Western civilization’s rise to global dominance over the past 500 years was due mainly to six killer apps, as he calls them: competition, science, rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic.

Read more:


The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power  

By Gene Healy

About the Book

The Bush years have given rise to fears of a resurgent Imperial Presidency. Those fears are justified, but the problem cannot be solved simply by bringing a new administration to power. In his provocative new book, The Cult of the Presidency, Gene Healy argues that the fault lies not in our leaders but in ourselves. When our scholars lionize presidents who break free from constitutional restraints, when our columnists and talking heads repeatedly call upon the “commander in chief ” to dream great dreams and seek the power to achieve them—when voters look to the president for salvation from all problems great and small—should we really be surprised that the presidency has burst its constitutional bonds and grown powerful enough to threaten American liberty?

Read more:


James V. DeLong on Ending “Big SIS” (The Special Interest State)!


Is There a Right to Social Security?

by Michael D. Tanner

Michael Tanner is director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute. He is the co-author of two recent books on the issue, A New Deal for Social Security and Common Cents, Common Dreams.

Added to on November 25, 1998

This article appeared on on November 25, 1998.

You worked hard your whole life and paid thousands of dollars in Social Security taxes. Now it’s time to retire. You’re legally entitled to Social Security benefits, right? Wrong. There is no legal right to Social Security, and that is one of the considerations that may decide the coming debate over Social Security reform.

Read more:


Our History


Aaron Burr’s 1807 trial challenged the Constitution

David O. Stewart

Spring 2012  | Volume 62,  Issue 1

In late March 1807 Aaron Burr arrived in Richmond, Virginia, in a vile mood, filthy and stinking. He had just endured a month of hard travel under heavy guard through the dense forests of the Southeast. “It is not easy for one who has been robbed and plundered till he had not a second shirt,” he complained to a friend, “to contend with a Govt having millions at command and active and vindictive agents in every quarter.”

Read more:

Friday June 29, 2012

Morning Bell: Join the Fight to Repeal Obamacare

Ed Feulner

June 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

Fellow Americans,

Like you, I am disappointed by the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision. The Court misread and rewrote Obamacare in order to save it. Such contortions are not the proper role of judging. Most Americans are with you and me and deeply dislike this law.

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How Judicial Restraint Shaped John Roberts’ ObamaCare Decision

The chief justice’s deferential stance saves the president’s health care overhaul.

Damon W. Root | June 29, 2012

Judicial restraint is the idea that judges should defer to the will of lawmakers whenever possible, turning to the U.S. Constitution on only the rarest of occasions in order to nullify a duly-enacted law. One of the earliest and most influential proponents of this idea was Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), who routinely criticized his fellow justices for striking down legislation and preventing “the right of the majority to embody their opinions in law.” As Holmes once put it, “If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job.”

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Analysis: Why Roberts saved Obama’s healthcare law

8:39am EDT

By Joan Biskupic

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the end, it all came down to Chief Justice John Roberts, the sphinx in the center chair, who in a stunning decision wove together competing rationales to uphold President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.

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Edu-implications of yesterday’s Supreme Court Medicaid ruling

Frederick M. Hess | June 29, 2012, 1:18 pm

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the bulk of President Obama’s health care reform. Amidst the drama, it was easy to overlook SCOTUS’s 7-2 ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Yet, that ruling had some important implications for education. The Court limited Uncle Sam’s ability to withhold aid from states which refuse to comply with new federal mandates. This has potentially big impacts on current and future education policymaking, on questions ranging from ESEA/NCLB to the Higher Education Act.

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Ron Paul’s audit-the-Fed bill advances

By Peter Schroeder – 06/27/12 11:45 AM ET

The House Oversight Committee easily cleared legislation Wednesday that would require a top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve.

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The Left, the Right, and the Constitution

By Yuval Levin

June 27, 2012 2:15 P.M.

Whatever decision the Supreme Court announces on Obamacare tomorrow, the various liberal missives of anticipatory anxiety in recent days have already revealed a great deal about the Left’s attitude toward our constitutional system. What we’ve learned can hardly come as news to conservatives, but it has been put forward in an unusually clear and undiluted form, and so is worth some thought. A few reflections below the fold (as this is a day that seems to call for long posts).


New law could close Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic

Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:26am EDT

* Some lawmakers say hope law will end abortions in state

* State has low abortion rate, high teen pregnancy rate

By Emily Le Coz

TUPELO, Miss., June 27 (Reuters) – Mississippi could become the only U.S. state without an abortion clinic if its lone facility is unable to comply with a law taking effect on Sunday that requires doctors who perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

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A lot at stake for U.S. gun lobby in contempt vote

By Fred Barbash and David Ingram

WASHINGTON | Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:02pm EDT

(Reuters) – Even before President Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder formally took office in 2009, the National Rifle Association stated that the new administration’s secret “gun-control agenda” posed a clear danger to America’s gun owners and the constitutional right to bear arms.

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Class war at the Supreme Court

By Harold Meyerson, Published: June 26

On the eve of the Supreme Court’s much anticipated ruling on Obamacare, here is a simple test for detecting the politics behind a decision: When reading the rulings, look for the double standards and answers to questions not posed by the cases themselves. By those measures, the Supreme Court’s record in the past week fairly reeks of the justices’ politics.

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Bill Would Increase Border Patrol Access to Sensitive Federal Lands, National Parks

Friday, June 22, 2012 :: Staff infoZine

By Charles Scudder – The sweeping vistas of Big Bend National Park may be breathtaking, but the park’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border makes the deep canyons of the Rio Grande kindling for political feuds.

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A Government of Men, Not Laws

By Ben Shapiro


“There is no good government but what is republican,” John Adams wrote. “(T)he very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’” Adams meant that a government in which law is applied at the discretion of powerful people is a bad government. The law must be applied in a straightforward, nonarbitrary fashion or the entire governmental system should be called into question.

Read more: by Doug Bandow


Ron Paul: ‘Obamacare’s legal apologists wholly ignorant of constitutional principles’

By Nicole Choi – The Daily Caller   5:45 PM 06/25/2012


Ahead of the Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling on Obamacare, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul explained that government is already too involved in health care.
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Growing threats to our First Amendment rights: An address by Mitch McConnell

Jordan McGillis | June 15, 2012, 4:37 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a harrowing address on Friday at AEI, detailing both the singular importance of free speech and the forces that seek to stymie it

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Broad Coalition of Advocates Acts to Oppose “Drone Zone” Border Bill

Over 50 diverse groups send strong letter to Congress opposing measure

Washington, DC – Today a coalition of Hispanic and immigration reform advocates, Native American tribal organizations, sportsmen, businesses and conservation groups came together in a strong show of unity to oppose H.R. 1505, the “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act.” The measure has been incorporated into H.R. 2578, the so-called “Conservation and Economic Growth Act.” The full bill is set to be voted on in the House of Representatives this week.

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In Constitutional Republics, Presidents Don’t Have ‘Kill Lists’

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

Added to on June 7, 2012

This article appeared in Daily Caller on June 7, 2012.

Washington routinely criticizes despotic regimes where officials exercise the power of life and death without restraint. President Barack Obama is such an official.

The U.S. has been fighting the “war on terrorism” for more than a decade. Washington has turned targeted killing — or assassination — into routine practice. The military deploys SEALs when the job needs to be close and personal, like killing Osama bin Laden. But drones are the preferred tool of choice. The administration claims to have recently used one to kill al-Qaida’s number two man, Abu Yahya al-Libi, in Pakistan.

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Medicare and Other Entitlements Are Crowding Out Spending on Defense

Ever-increasing entitlement spending is putting pressure on key spending priorities, such as national defense, a core constitutional function of government. Defense spending has declined significantly over time, even when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are included, as spending on the three major entitlements—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—has more than tripled.

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Our History

Patriots Or Terrorists?

The Lost Story of Revolutionary War POW’s

Edwin G. Burrows

Fall 2008  | Volume 58,  Issue 5

Sometime that seismic spring of 1776, 16-year-old Levi Hanford of Norwalk, Connecticut, enrolled in his uncle’s militia company and went to war against the British. He expected to make short work of the enemy. Everybody knew how simple farm boys like himself had just sent the redcoats reeling from Lexington and Concord, then cut them down at Bunker Hill. But Hanford’s war got off to a slow start. Except for a brief stint building fortifications around New York City, his first year under arms consisted mostly of standing watch along the Connecticut coast of Long Island Sound and rounding up Tories. He missed the disastrous Battle of Brooklyn on August 27, 1776, in which Gen. William Howe’s redcoats captured a thousand American rebels. Neither was he present two weeks later, when the British swarmed across the East River onto Manhattan, seized the city, and rounded up several hundred more Americans. Hanford did not get his first real taste of action, in fact, until a cold, stormy night in March 1777, when he and a dozen other Connecticut men were surprised and taken prisoner by a Tory raiding party from Huntington, Long Island. What happened next would haunt him until the day he died, 77 years later.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 15, 2012

Impeach Them All

By Monty Pelerin

The US Government continues actions that will result in its own demise. That might seem fitting, except that its failure will seriously harm the citizenry.

Government decisions and actions have assured an economic collapse that will result in another depression. Federal debts and promises are too large to be honored, a conclusion based not on economics but on simple arithmetic.

The government collapse will likely trigger the economic collapse, although the order could be reversed. Arguably, we are already in a depression which has been disguised by juicing GDP via excessive government spending. This spending has been  funded increased government debt in magnitudes never seen before. To put matters into perspective, by the end of President Obama’s first four years, he will have added more to the federal debt than all 43 Presidents who preceded him.

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February 8, 2012

Supreme Court justice: U.S. Constitution inferior

‘I might look at South Africa. Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms’

by Bob Unruh Email

One member of the U.S. Supreme Court, whose members are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, says she would look elsewhere – Canada, South Africa and Europe – should she be tasked with writing a constitution now.

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January 8, 2012

Caution: According to the NDAA, You Could Be a Terrorist

On New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. The controversial military spending bill allows the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of involvement in terrorist activities without access to an attorney or trial by jury. Yes, you read that correctly. INDEFINITE detention of AMERICAN citizens WITHOUT TRIAL. Frightening, isn’t it?

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2012 National Defense Authorization Act Assaults Constitutional Freedom

While many Americans have become enthralled over the current GOP race, very few realize that our very freedoms have recently been seriously diminished and marginalized. Hopefully, everyone celebrated this past New Year with sincere freedom of expression because as of December 31st, we must all watch what we say.

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Obama: Scotus, Tear Down This Challenge!

So is it the most important Supreme Court brief ever filed by the U.S. government?

We have no idea — we’ll leave the answer to that question to the constitutional scholars.

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Obama Administration Defends Health Care Overhaul in First Supreme Court Brief

By Lee Ross

Published January 06, 2012 |

Arguing that President Obama’s health care law was designed to fix an intractable national problem of exploding costs during a crisis, the administration submitted its opening brief to the Supreme Court Friday defending the law as both necessary and constitutional.

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Presidents & Presidential Precedents

By Chad Pergram

Created 2012-01-06 01:32

Article II of the U.S. Constitution is clear about the powers it vests to the President of the United States.

However, it’s frequently silent about how a president executes those powers.

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Republicans Press Justice Dept. on Recess Appointments

The Obama administration is staying mum on whether the president received legal advice from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel when he decided to install four regulatory appointees Wednesday, bypassing Senate confirmation.

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Obama plans to cut tens of thousands of ground troops

By Laura MacInnis and David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will unveil a “more realistic” vision for the military on Thursday, with plans to cut tens of thousands of ground troops and invest more in air and sea power at a time of fiscal restraint, officials familiar with the plans said on Wednesday.

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December 16, 201

Congress clears $662 billion defense bill


WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress passed a massive $662 billion defense bill Thursday after months of wrangling over how to handle captured terror suspects without violating Americans’ constitutional rights.

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U.S. says Arizona sheriff violated civil rights laws

12/15/2011 COMMENTS (0)

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The Obama administration accused a firebrand Arizona sheriff on Thursday of engaging in racial profiling of Latinos and making unlawful arrests in a crack down on illegal immigrants.

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U.S. military equipment-maker owes Iran $2.8 million

12/15/2011 COMMENTS (0)

Dec 15 (Reuters) – A U.S. manufacturer of military equipment must pay Iran $2.8 million despite a federal ban on trade with the country, an appeals court ruled on Thursday.

Read more:$2_8_million/

Congress overturns incandescent light bulb ban

By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Time

Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

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Rick Perry, License Plates and Constitutional Ignorance

COMMENTARY | Just when you think you’ve seen every way politicians can display how little they care for our Constitution they surprise you with a new way. The latest comes from presidential hopeful Rick Perry. He’s swiftly turning into an also-ran, partly due to his own missteps on matters like bigotry. Added to the stack is his new license plate.

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Appeals court chilly toward challenge to gay judge

SAN FRANCISCO, DEC 8 – A U.S. appeals court appeared skeptical toward attempts by gay marriage opponents to overturn a landmark court decision because the judge overseeing the case did not disclose his own long-term homosexual relationship.

The three judge 9th Circuit panel also

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bernie Sanders’s America

A socialist senator’s monstrous fantasies.


If you want to be a writer of fantasy, there’s no better place to start than Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which spells out the procedure for amending the nation’s charter. It is designed to be a difficult process, and it is, having been followed to completion only 27 times in 223 years. But for members of Congress, amendments are very easy to introduce.

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Holder issues challenge to Texas on voter rights

Published 10:26 p.m., Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AUSTIN – The nation’s top law enforcement official drew attention to two of the state’s hot-button political issues – redistricting and voter ID laws – telling a Texas audience Tuesday night that making it harder to vote “goes against the arc of history.”

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ACLU sues to block Wisconsin voter ID law

Tue, Dec 13 2011

By John Rondy

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union_on Tuesday sued the state of Wisconsin over its voter ID law, claiming it is unconstitutional and will deprive citizens of their basic right to vote.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress

By Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun and Phil KuntzNov 27, 2011

Bloomberg Markets Magazine

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

‘Twins’ That Look Nothing Alike

It certainly is understandable that the media equate Occupy Wall Street with the tea party (Nov. 18, Review & Outlook, “Revolting the Masses”). The two movements would be identical if only tea partiers also camped out for months in public spaces, disrupted day-to-day life in communities, covered up serious crimes committed in their bivouacs and called for an end to capitalist exploitation.

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End the ban on cameras in the Supreme Court

By Editorial, Published: November 25

IN MARCH, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear one of its most important cases in years: a constitutional challenge to President Obama’s signature health-care program.

The case should also be its most closely watched — literally. It would be a fitting vehicle for the court’s first televised argument.

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US court won’t block its Texas redistricting map

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal court refused late Friday to block a congressional redistricting map it drew up for Texas, rejecting a request from the state’s attorney general just hours after the Republican accused the court of “undermining the democratic process.”

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Justice Dept. Sues Utah Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Immigration Reform Law

Posted on November 23, 2011 at 9:35am by Billy Hallowell

SALT LAKE CITY (The Blaze/AP) — Move over  South Carolina, Alabama and Arizona – it‘s Utah’s turn. The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging Utah’s immigration enforcement law, arguing that it usurps federal authority and could potentially lead to the harassment and detention of American citizens and authorized visitors.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Latest Balanced Budget Amendment Proposal Fails in House   

 Written by Joe Wolverton, II   

Friday, 25 November 2011 09:45

The House of Representatives voted down the latest proposal for a balanced budget amendment on November 18.

Under the terms of the Constitution, a constitutional amendment must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states in order to become part of the Constitution. The vote in the House was 261 in favor and 165 opposed. That is 23 votes short of the necessary two-thirds.

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Medicaid “Coercion” Issue to be Settled by Supreme Court

Written by Joe Wolverton, II

Friday, 25 November 2011 07:45

The Supreme Court approved petitions last week to hear arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. One of the issues that will be argued before the justices of the high court is the legality of the currently operating Medicaid scheme.

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Democrats Seek Amendments to Restrict Free Speech

Written by Alex Newman

Friday, 25 November 2011 14:30

Democrat lawmakers and a coalition of radical activist groups are pushing for constitutional amendments to reverse the Supreme Court’s landmark “Citizens United” ruling, a decision that recognized that groups of people have a right to free speech even if they are acting together under the banner of a corporation, union, or non-profit organization.

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November 22, 2011

Health Care and the States

In reviewing the constitutionality of health care reform, the Supreme Court said it would consider the legality of the Medicaid expansion included in the reform law. The question seems narrow, but it could have significant implications for redefining Congress’s spending power.

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Monday, November 22, 2011

Dear Conservative Congressmen and Congresswomen,

As a resident and registered voter in the Texas 2nd Congressional District and a supporter and promoter of the US Constitution Education Foundation ( I bring to your attention my concern with your position and vote on the recent failed Balance Budget Amendment.

I am grateful that the Senate has not had the opportunity to vote on this failed measure, because this Balance Budget Amendment is a fraud, just as Mark Levin says it is.  My concern is only 4 Conservative Republicans voted NO on this flawed amendment who are Jim Ryan – House Budget Committee Chairman from Wisconsin 1st Congressional District, Justin Amash – Michigan 3rd Congressional District, Louie Gohmert – Texas 1st Congressional District, and David Dreier – House Rules Committee Chairmen from California 26th Congressional District.

The following is a list of reasons this Balance Budget Amendment (H. J. RES. 2) is deceptive and a fraud:

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Monday, November 14, 2011

 High Court Agrees to Take up Health-Care Challenge

Is President Obama’s health-care overhaul constitutional or not?

It’s a question we’ve been asking here on this blog for a long time — and well before the law was passed in March of 2010. At last, some resolution is on its way.

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FAQ: Everything you wanted to know about the health reform lawsuits, but were afraid to ask.

By Sarah Kliff, Updated: Monday, November 14, 8:00 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today it will hear a lawsuit challenging the health reform law’s constitutionality. Here are seven key questions and answers on where the lawsuits stand now, where they’re headed and what it means for the Affordable Care Act:

Andrew Harrer     Bloomberg

How are the lawsuits challenging the health reform law? Nearly all lawsuits challenge the health reform law’s individual mandate: The requirement that most individuals purchase health insurance or pay a fine. To challenge that provision, health reform opponents have relied on the Commerce Clause, the part of the Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to regulate multi-state, economic activity.

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Technology Rewrites the Fourth Amendment

Do police need a warrant to put a GPS tracking device on a citizen’s car?


Technology has changed how information flows, how people communicate, and even the meaning of “friend,” which has become a verb. Now, add to the imperial reach of technology the power to rewrite constitutional protections.

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 Does government regulation really kill jobs? Economists say overall effect minimal.

By Jia Lynn Yang, Published: November 13

Beverly, Ohio — The Muskingum River coal-fired power plant in Ohio is nearing the end of its life. AEP, one of the country’s biggest coal-based utilities, says it will cut 159 jobs when it shuts the decades-old plant in three years — sooner than it would like — because of new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Schools Say No To Tea Party’s Constitution Lessons

—By Stephanie Mencimer

Thu Sep. 29, 2011 6:59 AM PDT

Earlier this year, tea party groups sparked a bit of an uproar when they announced plans to pressure public schools into teaching their version of constitutional history during the federally mandated Constitution week that began September 17. Led by a large umbrella group, Tea Party Patriots, activists planned to pressure local school officials into using controversial curriculum developed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS). The NCCS was founded by Glen Beck’s favorite pseudo-historian, W. Cleon Skousen, who argued in his book The 5,000 Year Leap that the creation of the US was a divine miracle. When the news got out, liberal legal groups expressed outrage and urged schools to reject the plan.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

 Will Senators Reassert Their Constitutional Authority, or Capitulate to Obama’s Authoritarianism?

Posted By Seton Motley

The vote on Senate Joint Resolution (S.J. Res) 6 – the Resolution of Disapproval to undo the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s illegal, unilateral Network Neutrality Internet power grab – is a watershed moment for the members of the Senior Circuit.

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 City might pursue litigation in dunes sagebrush lizard case

Kathleen Thurber
Midland Reporter-Telegram | Posted: Saturday, November 12, 2011 7:45 pm

With the final decision on the dunes sagebrush lizard just more than a month away, city of Midland leaders are considering filing a lawsuit if necessary.

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 Bringing down Bastrop’s burned trees with bureaucracy

By Ricardo Gándara

Josh Van Buren of Taylor’s Tree Service is listening to two contractors explain the bureaucracy involved with felling a tree burned in September’s wildfires.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Right to be Governed

By Mike Adams


There are a number of differences between the college students of the 1960s and the college students of today. Perhaps none is more striking than the desire of the former to be free and the latter to be controlled by the university administration. A recent controversy at UNC-Chapel Hill shows just how upset students become when administrators tell them they are free to associate with whomever they choose.

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Appeals court backs Obama health care law: What comes next?

By Ryan Jaslow

(CBS/AP) President Obama’s health care law overcame a major legal hurdle Tuesday, as an appeals court upheld the controversial law’s constitutionality. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the lower court’s ruling that found Congress did not overstep its authority in requiring people to have insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014.
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NY immigrant advocates criticize Border Patrol

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Immigrant rights advocates and the New York Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused the Border Patrol in upstate New York of abusing its authority by questioning the citizenship of train and bus passengers, as well as people going about their business in towns miles away from any international crossing.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

 Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax

David S. Addington

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

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Obama again sidesteps Congress with Head Start order

By Susan Crabtree and Ben Wolfgang

President Obama unveiled the latest installment of his “we can’t wait” campaign against Congress on Tuesday, this time issuing new rules governing the early childhood education program Head Start.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dept. of Interior: Adding FDR’s D-Day Prayer to WWII Memorial Would ‘Dilute’ Its ‘Central Message’

By Matt Cover

( – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a division of the Interior Department, says adding President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., would “dilute” the memorial’s message and its ability to “inspire” visitors.

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Mo. residents upset by order to move lake homes

Associated Press

CAMDENTON, Mo. (AP) — Nearly every year, Patsy Riley has gotten unsolicited offers for her house on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks with its spectacular views of tree-lined bluffs and its ample shoreline, but she never wanted to leave. Now, she and hundreds of her neighbors wonder what will become of their homes after a federal agency declared that many structures built close to the lake may have to go.

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Executive Power in Wartime  

Michael Mukasey
Former U.S. Attorney General

President Obama campaigned for office largely on the claim that his predecessor had shredded the Constitution. By the Constitution, he could not have meant the document signed on September 17, 1787. Article II of that document begins with a simple declaration: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Not “some” or “most” or even “all but a teeny-weeny bit” of the executive power. The President is vested with all of it. This is particularly noteworthy when compared with the enumerated legislative powers vested in Congress: “All legislative Powers herein granted.” The Founders understood, based in part on their unfortunate experience under the Articles of Confederation, that the branch of government most likely to be in need of the ability to act quickly and decisively is the executive. The branch most likely to overreach is the legislature.

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Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Thomas spanks court on religious displays

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court turned its collective face from two linked cases last week, rejecting them without comment other than a blistering dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas, who caustically told the rest of the justices their guidance in religious display cases was a mess.
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WH rejects subpoena request for Solyndra docs

byPhilip Klein Senior Editorial Writer

President Obama’s attorney sent a letter to Congressional investigators on Friday, saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

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DOJ refuses to release Kagan Obamacare documents

Rick Moran

There are plenty of Republican congressmen and senators who believe that associate justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court case involving the constitutionality of Obamacare because of her service as Solicitor General.

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Occupy Wall Street and the Founding Fathers

By Ron DeSantis

They claim to represent 99% of Americans, but as Democratic pollster Doug Schoen has shown, the protest group Occupy Wall Street is anything but representative of a vast swath of the public.  At best, the protesters represent a far-leftward slice of American political thought: they pine for the redistribution of wealth and generally reject the free enterprise system.

Yet, this stubborn fact hasn’t stopped the media and left-wing pundits from serenading the movement with praise.  One writer has even argued that “our founders would … be standing on the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street movement … were they around today.”

Is the Occupy Wall Street protest our generation’s version of the Boston Tea Party?  Would George Washington, if he were alive today, eschew Mount Vernon in favor of a tent in Zuccotti Park?

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What If Government Were More Like an iPod?

Dilbert’s Scott Adams on bringing democracy out of the age of wax candles and into the age of touch screens


If Congress had a 9% approval rating while George Washington was still alive, he would have shoved his wooden dentures in his mouth, assembled a militia and marched on the Capitol. The nation’s founders weren’t big fans of dysfunctional governments. I’ll bet we could solve our energy problem by connecting a generator to John Adams’s corpse, which I assume is spinning in its grave.

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ACLU: Obama “Authorizing Agencies to Lie”

Seth Mandel | @SethAMandel 10.31.2011 – 1:00 PM

While the Obama administration’s hostility to transparency is well known, its latest scheme would break new ground in government secrecy. The administration’s proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act guidelines would allow the Department of Justice to deny the existence of documents and prevent judicial oversight.

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 Issa Probes Park Service Science Used to Shut Down Oyster Farm

by Audrey Hudson

Posted 11/01/2011 ET

 A leading congressional Republican is investigating whether the National Park Service (NPS) committed “scientific misconduct” in its effort to shut down a century-old oyster farm over claims that it threatens the local seal population.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is demanding that the Interior Department turn over certain documents to his panel to determine whether faulty information will close the Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), which operates in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore.

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 Obama to Sign Prescription Drug Executive Order


Using the legal force of an executive order, President Obama is taking action on the health care front as part of his pressure on Congress for action on his jobs plan.

White House officials say at a midday signing ceremony in the Oval Office, the president will address price gouging and the availability of prescription drugs. He will also endorse what he describes as bipartisan legislation awaiting action.

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 Tears for the Constitution, not Qaddafi

By Doug Bandow on 10.30.11 @ 5:51AM

It took the greatest military alliance in history about 7 months to finish off Libya’s Moammar Qaddafi.  Comandante Obama is posing as one of history’s great conquerers, but his war was ostentatiously illegal.  After all, he claimed, bombing and killing the armed forces of another government really wasn’t hostilities.  Rather, it was a special Hawaiian greeting–with a Chicago twist.  At least President George Bush went to Congress.  The former lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago law school couldn’t be bothered to do so.

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Rangel: ‘Gridlock’ necessitates that Obama use executive powers [VIDEO]

By Nicholas Ballasy   11:34 PM 10/27/2011

New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel told The Daily Caller that “gridlock” in Congress has made it “necessary” for President Barack Obama to unilaterally implement mortgage refinancing and student loan programs without congressional authorization.

TheDC asked Rangel if he thinks there are other areas where Obama should bypass Congress.

“I do, but I don’t want it to be interpreted that I welcome the executive branch using their powers instead of having the legislative branch do it. It’s necessary now because it’s a gridlock between the president and the United States. I hope that is just so very, very unusual,” Rangel told TheDC after a rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
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SCOTUS firms up health challenge timeline

By Sarah Kliff, Published: October 26

KAREN BLEIER AFP/GETTY IMAGES Mark your health wonk calendars: the Supreme Court will take a possible first step on the health reform’s constitutional challenges on Nov. 10. More on what that means from the ever-insightful SCOTUSblog, which broke the news this morning:

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Obama Justice Department Sends Border Agent to Prison for “Violating Rights” of Drug Smuggler

By Katie Pavlich


After a complaint from the Mexican government, a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been sentenced to two years in prison for “violating” the constitutional rights of a 15-year-old drug smuggling suspect by not “lifting his arms properly.” The Obama Justice Department has accused the agent of using “unnecessary force,” in handling the suspect while handcuffed. From the Washington Times:

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Obama ‘Can’t Wait’ for the Rule of Law

By Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President Obama’s proclamation on Monday that he “can’t wait” for congressional action to help underwater homeowners raises two questions.

If he already had the legal authority to take action, then why did he wait?

Some may frame the second question this way: does Obama’s plan exceed his constitutional authority?  Perhaps the better way to ask the second question is whether the Obama plan is unlawful.

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California moves popular vote closer
By: Rob Richie and Joe Sroka and Neal Suidan
August 18, 2011 04:30 AM EDT

California Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed a bill designed to fix our broken presidential election system and guarantee the White House to the winner of the national popular vote.

Grounded in state powers, the National Popular Vote plan for president commits participating states to award their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It can be activated only after its adoption in states that together have enough electoral votes to guarantee the outcome – meaning states representing at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes.

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George Soros Supports the Tea Party?

What the National Popular Vote wants you to believe.

Tara Ross and Trent England

August 16, 2011 9:31 AM

Even as the rest of the country focuses on the economy, the inventor of the scratch-off lottery ticket continues his push to all but eliminate the Electoral College. John Koza’s National Popular Vote (NPV) effort is making unfortunate progress. Just last week, Governor Jerry Brown’s signature ensured that the elector-rich state of California will participate in NPV.

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Is America Disenigrating?

By Pat Buchanan


In Federalist 2, John Jay looks out at a nation of a common blood, faith, language, history, customs and culture.

“Providence,” he writes, “has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion … very similar in their manners and customs …”

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Blame the Fed for the Financial Crisis

The Fed fails to grasp that an interest rate is a price, the price of time. Attempting to manipulate that price is as destructive as any other government price control.


To know what is wrong with the Federal Reserve, one must first understand the nature of money. Money is like any other good in our economy that emerges from the market to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers. Its particular usefulness is that it helps facilitate indirect exchange, making it easier for us to buy and sell goods because there is a common way of measuring their value. Money is not a government phenomenon, and it need not and should not be managed by government. When central banks like the Fed manage money they are engaging in price fixing, which leads not to prosperity but to disaster.

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Judge Tosses Out Lawmakers’ Challenge to Obama’s Libya Policy

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit by 10 members of Congress challenging President Barack Obama’s use of military force in Libya without congressional authorization — on the same day Libya announced the death of Col Moammar Qadhafi.

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Dem Calls For Hearing on DOMA Legal Tab

A $1.5 million legal tab? Meh. But a taxpayer-funded $1.5 million legal tab to defend the controversial Defense of Marriage Act? Now, that’s more like it.

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Pro-Life Organizers Work on State Constitutions; Fed to Follow?

Forget the feds if you’re looking for swift change in a hot-button issue. Instead, consider the states. Alabama’s constitution, ratified in 1901, is 357,157 words long — 40 times longer than the U.S. Constitution. It has been amended more than 650 times.

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Declaration of Independence Declared Legal

OK, admittedly, we’re a little late on this one, but we couldn’t pass up the chance to feature a debate over the legality of one of the nation’s underpinning documents: the Declaration of Independence.


Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide

By Adam Ghassemi

PORTLAND, Tenn. – You’re probably used to seeing TSA’s signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

Read more:

 Monday, October 17, 2011


We’d Like to Know a Little Bit About You for Our Files

By David Catron on 10.17.11 @ 6:09AM

A new HHS regulation will create a government database of your private health information.

While armies of attorneys battle the Justice Department over Obamacare’s constitutionality, and politicians hold forth about their strategies for repealing and replacing the unpopular law, bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have been working around the clock to assure that the President’s “signature domestic achievement” becomes a permanent fixture of your life. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her accomplice Donald Berwick have been promulgating regulations as quickly as their minions can get them written. The most recent fruit of their combined labor has emerged from the bowels of the bureaucracy in the form of a “proposed rule” that, if permitted to stand, will profoundly change your relationship with government and eliminate what vestiges of personal privacy you still enjoy.

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Parts of Alabama immigration law blocked by federal appeals court

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

updated 3:22 PM EST, Fri October 14, 2011

(CNN) — A federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration enforcement law in Alabama.

The injunction issued Friday from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta came after the U.S. Justice Department — supported by a coalition of immigrant rights groups — requested the legislation, known as HB 56, be put on hold until the larger constitutional questions can be addressed, a process that could take some months at least.

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Rivals from both sides slam Jackson’s call to bypass the Constitution

Published: 12:25 AM 10/14/2011 | Updated: 6:28 PM 10/14/2011


Political firebrands hit Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. from both his left and his right Thursday afternoon, reacting to the Illinois congressman’s call for the president to bypass the Constitution to deal with the jobs crisis. During a Wednesday interview with The Daily Caller, Jackson said President Obama should “declare a national emergency” and use “extra-constitutional” measures to create jobs.
Read more:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

DOJ: Feds Can Tell Church Who Its Ministers Will Be

By Terence P. Jeffrey

October 12, 2011

In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama’s Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be.

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Jackson, Jr: Obama should ‘declare a national emergency,’ add jobs with ‘extra-constitutional’ action

By Nicholas Ballasy   11:32 PM 10/12/2011

Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that congressional opposition to the American Jobs Act is akin to the Confederate “states in rebellion.”

Jackson called for full government employment of the 15 million unemployed and said that Obama should “declare a national emergency” and take “extra-constitutional” action “administratively” — without the approval of Congress — to tackle unemployment.
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Supreme Court rejects appeal in gay couple’s adoption case

By Warren Richey

WASHINGTON (TCSM) The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a case examining whether an official in Louisiana violated the Constitution when she refused to issue a corrected birth certificate for a child adopted by an unmarried gay couple in New York.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Justice Breyer, the supreme explainer

A Supreme Court justice tries to educate a jaundiced public about how it all works

Dan Rodricks

1:23 PM EDT, October 12, 2011

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer finds it remarkable that the walls of this republic did not come tumbling down when the court put a quick stop to the recount of the 2000 presidential election vote in Florida. The vote was 5-4, split along the court’s ideological lines. It gave George W. Bush a critical victory in the state where his brother was governor; the rest is sad history.

Read more:,0,4238088.column

Supreme Court Wrestles With Strip Searches


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court struggled during arguments Wednesday for a clear way to tell when jailhouse strip searches go too far.

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Occupy Wall Street vs. Jobs

by Michael D. Tanner

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on October 12, 2011.

The last week brought us a striking contrast that tells us much about the current debate over the direction of this country.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NYPD infiltration of colleges raises privacy fears

Associated Press

NEW YORK — With its whitewashed bell tower, groomed lawns and Georgian-style buildings, Brooklyn College looks like a slice of Colonial Virginia dropped into modern-day New York City. But for years New York police have feared this bucolic setting might hide a sinister secret: the beginnings of a Muslim terrorist cell.

Read more:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ and the Constitution

For constitutional enthusiasts, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement offers a fascinating, dynamic test case of the First Amendment.

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Paternalism and Principle

by Michael D. Tanner

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on October 5, 2011.

If you are looking for a single statement that defines the essence of the modern welfare state, look no further than Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s defense of the administration’s efforts to ban incandescent light bulbs. “We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money,” Chu said, quite satisfied with government’s efforts to protect Americans from their own choices.

Read more:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Russia had only 30 czars — Obama has 45

By: David Freddoso | 10/09/11 10:28 PM
Online Opinion Editor | Follow on Twitter @freddoso

From the time the Russian title of “Czar” (or Caesar) was first used in the 16th Century to describe the Emperors of Russia, through the communist revolution of 1917, Russia had only about thirty czars. President Obama’s administration has 45, according to a new report from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
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Steve Jobs and American exceptionalism


Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday at the too-young age of 56, was a living refutation of all what liberals constantly tell us about our country — that we’re falling behind others and live now in a “post-American world,” as one of Barack Obama’s favorite books puts it in its title.

As anyone who has ever handled an Apple product or had his life improved by the technological innovations our system has produced in just a decade (that means all of us) will tell you, Jobs and innovators like him epitomize that immeasurable quality the left somehow finds most abject — American exceptionalism.

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A president by popular vote

Some states are looking at ways to circumvent the electoral college and get closer to a system in which the presidency would be decided by a popular vote.

October 5, 2011

The last time the electoral college received much attention was in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote for president while being denied victory over George W. Bush because of a second-place finish in electoral votes. Reformers hoped that discrepancy would be the impetus for approval of a constitutional amendment establishing what many Americans believed already existed: a nationwide popular vote for president. But the moment passed.

Read more:,0,6037578,print.story

  Sunday, October 09, 2011

Andrew Jackson: Tea Party President

By Robert W. Merry from the October 2011 issue

For starters, he was principled, fearless, and astute. And Washington, D.C., never trusted him, because he knew the real source of America’s greatness.

BACK in the late 1990s, William Kristol and David Brooks, then colleagues at the Weekly Standard, fostered a boomlet of a movement called “national greatness conservatism,” the central tenet of which seemed to be that the country didn’t rise to sufficient grandeur to satisfy their national aspirations. That was the Clinton era, remember, when the Gross Domestic Product was expanding at an average 3.5 percent a year, and unemployment hovered around 4 percent. Federal coffers were overflowing with cash, and the national debt was actually shrinking. The world was relatively stable, America’s global position seemed secure, and young U.S. soldiers weren’t dying in far-off lands. Americans were generally happy with their lot.

Read more:

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Constitution and the Right to Vote: Protecting Against Voter Fraud

Posted By Hans von Spakovsky On October 4, 2011 @ 5:10 pm In Featured,Rule of Law

In August, three voters in Wake County, North Carolina, were charged with voting twice in the 2008 presidential election, apparently for President Barack Obama. In April, a member of the executive committee of the NAACP in Tunica County, Mississippi, was convicted on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots and sentenced to five years in prison. She voted in the names of six other voters, as well as in the names of four dead voters. There are pending indictments of city council members and an ongoing grand jury investigation of ballot fraud in Troy, New York, over a 2009 primary involving the Working Families Party.

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Religious Freedom under Attack in Supreme Court Today

Posted By Thomas Messner On October 5, 2011 @ 3:45 pm In Rule of Law

Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in what the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is calling “the most important religious liberty case in twenty years.” [1]

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Preserve the Constitution Series: The Constitution and the Common Defense

Posted By Jessica Kline On October 5, 2011 @ 3:04 pm In First Principles,Rule of Law

Arguably more than any other armed conflict, the events of September 11, 2001, tested the President’s constitutional authority to wage war on behalf of the country. Whether the issue was the capture and treatment of detainees, interrogation techniques, surveillance, the Geneva Conventions, wiretapping, Guantanamo, or the role of the courts during wartime, this conflict unleashed a public debate regarding the role of the President during wartime. Who ensures America’s national security?

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Antonin Scalia Unplugged: Wants to Kill ‘Living’ Constitution

Justice Antonin Scalia couldn’t help himself.

Sitting on the dais at the Newseum, a Washington, D.C., museum dedicated to the value of a free press, he knew he probably shouldn’t bring up the landmark libel case New York Times v. Sullivan.

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Reid’s ‘nuclear option’ changes rules, ends repeat filibusters

By Alexander Bolton – 10/06/11 09:10 PM ET

In a shocking development Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Killing al-Awlaki was a political stunt unworthy of a great nation

7:00 AM EDT, October 5, 2011

Some in our government are claiming that U.S.-born anti-American Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in self defense by a C.I.A.-operated drone; they expect us to buy the nonsense that America, a huge and powerful nation was so terrified of this man’s jihadist tongue that it had to take him out as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

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High Court Indirectly Tackles Gun Rights and Church/State Divide

Gun owners cannot definitively claim they have a constitutional right to carry guns outside their homes, and a judge’s display of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

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Home Bible Study Fined in California

Did you ever think you’d see the day in America when the government would harass you for studying the Bible in your own home? That day has finally come, and it’s a danger to the home church movement that’s spreading across the U.S.

A Southern California city is demanding that a small home Bible study group stop meeting unless they obtain a cost-prohibitive permit.

Read more:

Monday, October 03, 2011

Courts May Be Too Active, or Perhaps Not Active Enough

Clark Neily tortures the statistics to come up with his conclusion that there is no judicial activism (“The Myth of Judicial Activism,” op-ed, Sept. 28). The most startling stretch is that the Supreme Court struck down “455 out of one million laws passed, or less than one-twentieth of 1%.” Even if every single one of those laws was unconstitutional, can anyone imagine the Supreme Court having the time to deliberate on one million cases? A more useful statistic is the number of challenges that wend their way to the Supremes. According to the Supreme Court’s website, there are 10,000 cases in the docket each term, up from 2,313 in 1960. Further, only about 130 cases are reviewed each term. Thus there has been a four-fold increase in public demand for constitutional review of our laws, with no increase in resources. If all 10,000 cases are valid claims, this discrepancy drastically increases the discretion the justices wield in hearing cases.

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Hot Topics Before High Court


The Supreme Court term that begins Monday is likely to be dominated by the challenge to the 2010 health-care law, after the Obama administration asked the justices last week to uphold the measure’s requirement that most individuals carry insurance.

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Fed Plan to Consolidate Power Over Nation’s Power Highway Has States Nervous

By Judson Berger

Published October 01, 2011 |

The Obama administration is looking to consolidate control over the nation’s power highway, pushing a proposal that would put one federal agency in the driver’s seat when it comes to reviewing and approving power-line projects across the country
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In Holton case, court sets an impossible standard on bribery

State court decisions make it almost impossible to prosecute bribery

By Lynn McLain

4:23 PM EDT, September 28, 2011

When one of Charles Dickens’ characters said, “The law is an ass,” he could easily have been referring to the recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision that makes it practically impossible for the state to prosecute legislators for taking bribes — unless, perhaps, they are caught on video or with a wired informant.

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 California Governor Snips Male-Circumcision Measure

For a brief, shining moment, a San Francisco ballot measure called the Male Genital Mutilation bill promised to give rise to an interesting constitutional case.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Health Overhaul Heads to Justices


The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to decide the fate of its health-care overhaul, setting the stage for arguments at the high court and a probable ruling in the thick of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Center for Judicial Engagement

The courts were meant to be an integral part of keeping legislators and executive branch officials within the proper bounds of their authority.  But as the Institute for Justice has seen too often, judges are either unwilling or feel unable to enforce constitutional limits on the size and scope of government power.

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Government Unchecked:

The False Problem of “Judicial Activism” and the Need for Judicial Engagement

By Clark Neily and Dick M. Carpenter II
September 2011

The past five decades have seen a relentless expansion in the size of government and a sharp increase in the num­ber of liberty-stifling laws and regulations at every level. Despite this explosion of political power, commentators and scholars of all ideological stripes appear to worry more about the supposed growth of judicial power.

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The Government Bank That’s Financing More Solyndras

By Elizabeth MacDonald

Published September 28, 2011 | FOXBusiness

Sitting at the center of the Solyndra scandal is a little-known bank at the Treasury Department that dates back to 1973.

This government bank, the Federal Financing Bank [FFB], had a zero balance in 2008 for green energy projects, but now, with little Congressional oversight — the FFB’s oversight committees are the Senate Banking Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, and once a year the FFB submits its performance plan to both committees — it is giving out billions of dollars in loans to White House pet projects often at dirt-cheap interest rates below 1%. In July alone, the government bank, which had $61 billion in assets, lent nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in taxpayer funds.

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Senate appropriators’ secret war against oversight

By: Sen. Tom Coburn M.D. | 09/28/11 12:07 PM

Seven months ago, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office released a landmark report identifying at least $200 billion in wasteful, duplicative, and fraudulent government programs.  At a time when we’re bankrupt as a nation – our debt now exceeds the size of our GDP and we have no way to finance our long-term liabilities – the report was a treasure map of easy-to-find savings.
Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Constitutionalism Means

Soon after Texas governor Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign, a few websites, mostly liberal, compiled a list of the constitutional amendments he has at various times touted. He has spoken favorably about amendments to end the lifetime tenure of federal judges, to allow supermajorities of Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions, to repeal the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments (which established, respectively, the income tax and the direct election of senators), to limit federal spending, to define marriage in American law as the union of a man and a woman, and to prohibit abortion.

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EPA: Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

By Matthew Boyle – The Daily Caller 11:57 AM 09/26/2011

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.
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Americans Express Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government

Several long-term Gallup trends at or near historical lows

by Lydia Saad

This story is the first in a weeklong series on on Americans’ views on the role and performance of government.

PRINCETON, NJ — A record-high 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years.

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The Economy Needs a Regulation Time-Out

Why send jobs overseas by creating more rules for American business?


Last year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to a company that sells packaged walnuts. Believe it or not, the federal government claimed the walnuts were being marketed as a drug. So Washington ordered the company to stop telling consumers about the health benefits of walnuts.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mike and Chantell Sackett vs. the EPA

The couple wanted to build a picturesque Idaho home. Instead they were accused of building on a wetland. Now the Supreme Court will hear their case

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By: Chad Kent
Chad Kent Speaks

Last week District Court Judge Cathy Seibel issued a ruling stating that New Yorkers do not have a Constitutional right to carry a firearm.

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Pastors Unite Against IRS Tax Code Restrictions on Political Speech in the Pulpit

Are American pastors free to share their political views from the pulpit? The answer to this question is complex. While some issues can certainly be discussed, there are also government-sanctioned limitations on partisan preaching (especially if churches expect to keep their tax-exempt status

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Obama’s NCLB waivers promise more Washington interference in education

K.E. Campbell

President Obama announced on Friday that states will be granted waivers from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in exchange for adherence to Administration-preferred education policies, including ones that move toward a federally-approved curriculum.

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Obamacare HHS rule would give government everybody’s health records

By: Rep. Tim Huelskamp | 09/23/11 3:29 PM
OpEd Contributor

It’s been said a thousand times: Congress had to pass President Obama’s  health care law in order to find out what’s in it. But, despite the repetitiveness, the level of shock from each new discovery never seems to recede.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Constitution and Limited Government

Two cases that are currently making their way to the Supreme Court may well in the short term decide the constitutional issue of the reach and extent of the federal government. At stake, in other words, is the future of limited government. And together, these two cases present an exceedingly odd situation. In the case of the Arizona illegal alien law, the federal government is suing a state for constitutional violations; and in the case of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—that is, Obamacare—more than half the states are suing the federal government, contesting the Act’s constitutionality. It is indeed a litigious season.

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OnStar Tracks Your Car Even When You Cancel Service

By David Kravets

September 20, 2011

Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.

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‘Stingray’ Phone Tracker Fuels Constitutional Clash


For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply “the Hacker.” Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest.

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Amazing’ trove of Thomas Jefferson’s books discovered

Librarians at Missouri university unexpectedly uncover dozens of books, some with handwritten notes

ST. LOUIS — Dozens of Thomas Jefferson’s books, some including handwritten notes from America’s third president, have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Solyndra execs walked back from agreement to answer questions

By Andrew Restuccia – 09/21/11 02:38 PM ET

The cheif executive of the failed solar firm Solyndra had agreed to answer questions from lawmakers before deciding this week to invoke his Fifth Amendment amendment rights, an email released by House Republicans shows.

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Federal judge questions graphic cigarette package images

WASHINGTON — A federal judge peppered a government lawyer with questions today, expressing doubts about whether the Food and Drug Administration can force tobacco companies to post graphic images on their cigarette packages showing the health effects of smoking.

In a two-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon closely questioned Justice Department lawyer Mark Stern on whether the nine graphic images proposed by the FDA convey just the facts about the health risks of smoking or go beyond that into advocacy — a critical distinction in a case over free speech.

Read more:–ar-259507/

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Against a Crude Balance: Platform Security and the Hostile Symbiosis Between Liberty and Security

Legal Architecture for the War on Terror, Law and Security, U.S. Constitutional Issues, Justice and Law

Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

The Brookings and Harvard Law School Project on Law and Security

September 21, 2011 —


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” —Benjamin Franklin

They are perhaps the most famous words ever written about the relationship between liberty and security. They have become iconic. A version of them appears on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty. They are quoted endlessly by those who assert that these two values coexist with one another in a precarious, ever-shifting state of balance that security concerns threaten constantly to upset. Every student of American history knows them. And every lover of liberty has pondered them, knowing that they speak to that great truth about the constitution of civilized governments: that we empower government to protect us in a devil’s bargain from which we will lose in the long run.

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Is the Constitutionality of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Still at Issue?

Although the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy was officially repealed yesterday, that did not necessarily put a stop to legal wrangling over the constitutionality of the (former) ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

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Broadway Tackles Gay Marriage Trial in ’8′

Geoffrey A. Fowler

Lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies were the celebrities at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theater on Monday night

Is the legal battle over Proposition 8 turning into the Scopes Trial for the 2010s?

On Monday night, as we noted earlier today, a slew of Hollywood stars including John Lithgow and Morgan Freeman gathered at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theater for a dramatic reading of selections from the 2010 trial over California’s voter-mandated gay marriage ban.

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Police Arrest Woman Refusing to Leave Outside Chair

Written by Raven Clabough

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 14:36

Shequita Walker, a 40-year old disabled woman from Atlanta, Georgia, asserts that she was arrested merely for sitting outside in a chair. Her account of the events indicates that she was sitting outside when she was approached by a police officer, who asked her to move from her chair. When she refused, she said she was thrown to the ground and arrested.

Read more:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Ways to Celebrate Constitution Day

Posted By Mike Kelsey On August 31, 2011 @ 1:00 pm In Featured,First Principles

September 17th is Constitution Day. 224 years ago, America’s Founders ratified a new Constitution that would form a more perfect union and secure the blessings of liberty. Here are 10 easy ways you and your family can celebrate Constitution day:

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Monday 19, 2011

Uniting the Nation


Of the men who are referred to colloquially as the Founders, only a few remain in the public consciousness. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton have all been the subject of fat popular histories as well as scholarly works—as have Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, though the latter two were not even present in Philadelphia, during the sultry summer of 1787, for the negotiation and drafting of the Constitution.

Read more:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Uniting the Nation


Of the men who are referred to colloquially as the Founders, only a few remain in the public consciousness. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton have all been the subject of fat popular histories as well as scholarly works—as have Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, though the latter two were not even present in Philadelphia, during the sultry summer of 1787, for the negotiation and drafting of the Constitution.

Read more:

Suit Claims Public College’s Drug Testing Policy is Unconstitutional

Linn State Technical College

In a policy that likely struck fear in the heart of many students, Linn State Technical College, a two-year public college in Missouri, implemented a mandatory drug testing program this semester.

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NY AG asks court to toss anti-gay marriage suit

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s attorney general asked a state court on Friday to throw out a lawsuit challenging the gay marriage law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and several other opponents of the law sued on July 25, claiming in part that the law should be nullified because the state Senate violated its own rules and the state’s open meetings law before the critical vote that led to its narrow passage.

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Florida Judge Sides With Physicians in ‘Docs v. Glocks’ Case

We recently noted that Florida doctors had filed a constitutional challenge to a new state law that restricts physicians from asking patients about whether they own firearms.

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Hamilton’s Shining House on a Hill


New York

It was breathtaking to watch a team of practiced craftsmen coolly jack up Alexander Hamilton’s yellow villa in Harlem in June 2008, lift it over the neighboring church, and wheel it around the corner to a new site commanding an oak-clad hillside in St. Nicholas Park on West 141st Street, still on Hamilton’s original 35 acres. It was more breathtaking still to preview last week the National Park Service’s impeccable restoration, which opens to the public Saturday.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

House Weighs Bill to Make Gun Permits Valid Across State Lines

By Shannon Bream

Published September 13, 2011 |

Lawmakers are considering a House bill that would give Americans who hold permits to carry firearms in their home states the right to carry their weapons across state lines.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Turning Red – Shedding the White and Blue

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The masks are all coming off and the unions are one with the Communists now. The comrades in arms are stirring the chaos and violence pot calling for all out war with the Tea Party and American Conservatives, with the blessings of the President. One might wonder how a radical minority could push for violent confrontation with the majority in America and get away with it – great planning and execution of the Cloward and Piven strategy is the answer. You can hear the cries of Za Rodinu! ringing on the American battlefield.

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How to fix a broken Congress
By: Lee H. Hamilton
September 11, 2011 09:40 PM EDT

There were plenty of reasons to be somber Sunday. Remembering the trauma of the Sept. 11 attacks a decade ago and honoring the lives lost and communities shattered were foremost among them. But for many of us, there was also the worrying sense that, although we might be safer today, we are not as strong a nation as we would hope.

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Why does safer mean less free?
By: Jeffrey Rosen
September 8, 2011 09:34 PM EDT

After Sept. 11, we’ve been told repeatedly, “Everything changed.” When it comes to the legal balance between liberty and security, however, the truism is at least partly true.

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Court rejects health law challenges
By: Jennifer Haberkorn
September 8, 2011 12:35 PM EDT

A federal appeals court on Thursday said it can’t rule on the constitutionality of the health reform law’s individual mandate until at least 2014 — an argument that, if adopted by the Supreme Court, could leave the issue unresolved for years.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

RIC airport protester, federal officials present arguments in lawsuitBy Reed Williams

Authorities involved in the arrest of a protester who removed his shirt and pants at a security checkpoint at Richmond International Airport were doing their jobs and acted appropriately, a government attorney argued Wednesday in Richmond federal court.

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California’s Big Deal Bought on Amazon

By Jacqueline Otto   5:00 PM 09/09/2011

All eyes are on the California statehouse today. On the table is a deal between online retail juggernaut Amazon and California lawmakers to postpone a major tax increase until fall 2012. Unfortunately, the compromise would mark a turning point in the online sales tax wars and pave the way for higher taxes nationwide.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

RIC airport protester, federal officials present arguments in lawsuitBy Reed Williams

Authorities involved in the arrest of a protester who removed his shirt and pants at a security checkpoint at Richmond International Airport were doing their jobs and acted appropriately, a government attorney argued Wednesday in Richmond federal court.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Homeland security, civil liberties and the rule of law

Our long-established reliance on the principles of democracy and the rule of law is the key to reconciling liberty with national security.

Dick Thornburgh
September 05, 2011

Policies and procedures enacted in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, are being challenged regularly in the courts. Some will be changed. Under the rule of law, such judicial scrutiny is not only inevitable, but indispensible.

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Legal responses to 9/11 still in flux

Disputes over liberty vs. security persist

Legal system has been traumatized and transformed.
Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the American legal system is still struggling to strike the balance between liberty and security, with both interests scoring victories and losses along the way.

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Calif. High Court Signals Prop. 8 Case Likely to Continue

Earlier in the day, we previewed (here) Tuesday’s arguments at the California Supreme Court over whether the supporters of Proposition 8 have standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.

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Censoring Military Personnel Is Un-American

Today, the ACLU filed a brief in a case on behalf of Col. Morris Davis, who was fired from his job at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for publicly criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to try some Guantánamo detainees in federal courts and some in the military commissions system.

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Federal Court Says Prolonged Mandatory Detention Of Immigrants Unconstitutional

September 1, 2011

A federal appeals court ruled today that detaining immigrants for prolonged periods of time without a bond hearing is unconstitutional. The decision, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, held that immigrants may be detained for only a reasonable amount of time before getting a hearing to determine whether their detention is necessary, siding with the ACLU on the case.

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ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Information from FBI on Nationwide System for Collecting “Suspicious Activity” Information

August 25, 2011

System May be Used to Track and Store Information about Innocent Americans with No Evidence of Wrongdoing

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit challenging the government’s failure to release documents about the FBI’s nationwide system of collecting and sharing so-called “Suspicious Activity Reports” from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Do You Really Want Constitutional Government?

Written by Selwyn Duke

Sunday, 01 May 2011 15:30

There is a simple reason why we don’t have constitutional government: By and large, most Americans don’t want it. In fact, most don’t even know what it would entail.

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Federalism: The Cure for Our Constitutional Crisis

Written by Joe Wolverton, II

Monday, 22 August 2011 16:00

While the debate over the raising, lowering, or demolishing the debt ceiling is new(ish), the fact that the federal government’s financial house is in disorder is a situation that has existed for over a century. The last few Presidents (of both parties), in collusion with an all too compliant Congress (regardless of which party was in the majority), have spent money on a scheme of government expansion that would drive any nation into the abyss of fiscal desolation in which America now finds itself.

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Know your Constitution: A tea party test for GOP field in South Carolina

By Amy Gardner, Published: September 5

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican candidates for president gathered here Monday afternoon for an unusual forum that explored their views of the U.S. Constitution and how they believe the government has strayed from it.

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Calif. same-sex marriage ban faces next legal test as state court mulls backers’ appeal rights

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 3:02 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s same-sex marriage ban faces its next legal test Tuesday when the state’s highest court attempts to shed light on whether the voter-approved measure’s backers have legal authority to appeal the federal ruling that overturned Proposition 8.

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The week ahead on the Hill: A high-stakes jobs battle on the horizon

By Felicia Sonmez

Both chambers are back this week following an August recess that saw the formation of the 12-member debt supercommittee, the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating and a Federal Aviation Administration funding battle that went into overtime (and looks to ramp up again later this month).

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Boehner-Obama Precedent

Much of the media has been running with the claim that a president’s request to speak to Congress has never been rejected until this week. We’re not so sure.


Much of the media has been running with the claim that a president’s request to speak to Congress has never been rejected until this week. Various Capitol Hill “historians” have been quoted saying that House Speaker John Boehner took unprecedented action when he cited the difficulty of hosting President Obama on the president’s requested date of Sept. 7. We’re not so sure.

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September 3, 2011 4:00 A.M.

How the NYPD Gets Jihad Right
In a world of wishful thinkers, Commissioner Kelly is a realist.

‘Every conspiracy against Islam and scheming against Islam and the Muslims — its source is America.”

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White House Developing Online Petitions Webpage Called “We the People”

Written by Brian Koenig
Friday, 02 September 2011 14:47
The White House announced Thursday that it is building a new webpage, entitled “We the People,” designed to give Americans the ability to digitally create and sign petitions to propose various government actions, particularly regarding job creation.

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The so-called anti-Sharia law movement: A chilling example of the paranoid style in American politics

August 28, 2011

Del. Ron George  from Annapolis objects to those who make light of the anti-Sharia movement in the U.S. (“Sharia law is a real threat to American liberties,” Aug. 24.) He argues that imposing Sharia law is the stated goal of Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and Hamas.

Read more:,0,1417768.story

We, the corporations of the United States, in order to form a more profitable union…

If businesses are people, as Mitt Romney says, perhaps we should rewrite our Constitution to reflect that

Thomas F. Schaller

4:17 PM EDT, August 23, 2011

Finally, Mitt Romney admitted publicly what too many Republican politicians — and plenty of Democrats, too — really think about we, the people. “Corporations are people,” the former Massachusetts governor pronounced.

Read more:,0,918723.column


Friday, August 26, 2011

On Red-Light Cameras and the Constitution

Many cities have long used cameras to enforce their traffic laws, including catching motorists in flagrante as they burn through a red light.

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Perry signs pledge backing anti-gay marriage amendment, reversing his states’ rights claim

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, August 26, 12:39 PM

AUSTIN, Texas — Rick Perry has signed a pledge to back a federal constitutional amendment against gay marriage — a reversal from a month ago when the Texas governor said he so supported individual states’ rights that he was fine with New York’s approval of same-sex marriage.

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Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear


The Commercial Appeal/Zuma Press

Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pore through the workshop at the Gibson Guitar factory on Wednesday morning.

Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson’s chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company’s manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice

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Thursday, August 25, 2011 

With CIA help, NYPD moves covertly in Muslim areas

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department has become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government, an Associated Press investigation has found.

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NY Muslims feel targeted despite alliance promise

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Even as the New York Police Department sent undercover officers into Muslim neighborhoods to detect possible terrorist activities in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, government officials there and elsewhere have sought to build relationships in Muslim communities and pledged to ensure that Muslims aren’t targeted for discrimination.

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We, the corporations of the United States, in order to form a more profitable union…

If businesses are people, as Mitt Romney says, perhaps we should rewrite our Constitution to reflect that

Thomas F. Schaller

4:17 PM EDT, August 23, 2011

Finally, Mitt Romney admitted publicly what too many Republican politicians — and plenty of Democrats, too — really think about we, the people. “Corporations are people,” the former Massachusetts governor pronounced.

Read more:,0,918723.column

Archbishop O’Brien has a right to try to influence public policy

11:16 AM EDT, August 22, 2011

In his letter to The Sun printed Aug. 18 (“O’Malley correct on church-state separation”), Arnold Paskoff suggests there should be “no representation without taxation.” This implies that he thinks Archbishop Edwin O’Brien pays no taxes. I believe this is incorrect. Archdiocesan priests, who are not members of religious orders, (e.g., Franciscans, Jesuits, etc.), receive salaries from their parish, or the Archdiocese, or from whatever organization employs them. This salary is subject to federal and state income tax and Social Security tax.

But taxation is beside the point. As citizens, priests, including Archbishop O’Brien, have constitutional rights of free speech, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

As to Gov. Martin O’Malley, men of conscience do not leave their conscience at the door when they assume public office.

Joseph D. Schaum Jr., Baltimore

Read more:,0,805742.story

Two-year House of Representatives terms made sense at the time — now, maybe not

10:00 AM EDT, August 5, 2011

In her book, “Ratification, The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788,” Pauline Maier notes that during the debate for ratification of the United States constitution in Massachusetts (as reported in the American Herald during the convention), the good people of Massachusetts elected “perhaps one of the compleatest representations of interests and sentiments of their constituents that ever were assembled.”

Read more:,0,5291215.story 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunshine State Shakeup: Is Florida’s Drug Law Unconstitutional?

You might think that, by now, the constitutionality of all 50 states’ drug laws would have long-been settled. After all, the drug laws have mostly been on the books for several decades, and there’s really never been a shortage of people who would have been well-served by seeing a drug law shot down.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who Is Responsible for America’s Security?

By Edwin Meese, III
August 19, 2011

The Declaration of Independence announced the sovereignty of the United States and, with it, the “full Power to levy War.” Accordingly, the Constitution’s Framers viewed the security of the nation to be the foremost responsibility of the federal government. That security, history showed, could neither be maintained by committee against pressing and agile threats, nor placed in a single hand. Their solution, as elsewhere, was careful checks and balances involving all three branches of government—but with just one at the fore. Who is responsible for ensuring America’s national security?

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Same sex marriage a tricky issue for Obama, GOP

By: Michael Barone | Senior Political Analyst Follow Him @MichaelBarone | 08/20/11 8:05 PM

n this May 5, 2009 file photo Florence Yarborough, of Washington, attends a protest against the District of Columbia city council’s approval of legislation recognizing same sex marriages performed in other states, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

One of the few issues on which opinion has moved left over the last few years is same-sex marriage. In 1996 Gallup found that Americans opposed it by a 68 to 27 percent margin. Last May Gallup found Americans in favor by 53 to 45 percent. That’s a huge change in 15 years.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Florida Governor Encroached on State Legislature, Court Rules

When Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott took office in January he launched an effort to get rid of administrative regulations he believed were unduly burdening state businesses and hindering economic growth.

Scott passed an executive order suspending the right of state executive

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Obama Administration Subsidizes Solar Energy Via Loans to India         

Written by Michael Tennant    Friday, 19 August 2011 09:30

Despite its less-than-stellar record of picking winning solar energy companies — subsidizing, for instance, Solyndra of California and Evergreen Solar of Massachusetts — the Obama administration is determined to continue the practice of unconstitutionally financing these boondoggles. This time, however, it is doing so in a more roundabout way via the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), which is making $575 million in taxpayer-guaranteed loans to companies in India to purchase solar modules from U.S. firms.

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Fetal Attraction: A Conservative Constitutional Conundrum

By  Laura Swisher

Posted: 8/10/11 08:30 PM ET

Politicians make stupid comments so often that they barely register with me anymore. Every so often, however, a politician will say something that’s so off-the-charts insane, I can’t not comment on it. Ohio State Assemblyman Ron Young (R) is one such politician. In arguing his support for Ohio’s “Heartbeat” bill this past June, he made the following statement:

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ominous Parallels

By Walter E. Williams


People are beginning to compare Barack Obama’s administration to the failed administration of Jimmy Carter, but a better comparison is to the Roosevelt administration of the 1930s and ’40s. Let’s look at it with the help of a publication from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Foundation for Economic Education titled “Great Myths of the Great Depression,” by Dr. Lawrence Reed.

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Is Colorado Restriction on Raising Taxes Unconstitutional?

There is an interesting dispute in Colorado over the constitutionality of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a 1992, voter-approved law that restricts legislators from raising taxes in the state unless voters first approve of such an increase.

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Video: Opinion Journal: Obama v. Constitution

Former Reagan legal advisor David Rivkin on the ObamaCare lawsuit and last week’s 11th Circuit ruling. 

Obama Confident Supreme Court Will Defend Health Care Law

Days after a federal appeals panel deemed the individual insurance mandate in Obama’s health care law unconstitutional, President Obama pushed back today and declared his confidence that the Supreme Court would uphold it, so long as they adhere to existing precedents and laws.

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Tobacco Companies Sue to Block New Cigarette Labels

The Tobacco industry is stepping up its fight to try to avoid new graphic-warning labels that are due to be affixed to cigarette packs by the fall of 2012.

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Florida State Law Eliminates Firearms Restrictions              

Written by Raven Clabough

Monday, 15 August 2011 17:54

The Florida State legislature has taken steps towards securing Second Amendment rights by eliminating restrictions on firearms. The measures, which will be enacted on October 1, will impose penalties on public officials who pass or enforce gun regulations at the state level. Violators face a $5,000 personal fine and may risk being removed from office by the governor. Florida already had a law that made it illegal to pass gun regulations beyond those imposed through state statutes since 1987. The Blaze explains the necessity for this new law:

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Looking for Limits

The power to mandate health insurance is the power to mandate almost anything.

Jacob Sullum | August 17, 2011

Opponents of the federal law requiring Americans to buy government-approved medical coverage face a daunting challenge. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has treated the power to “regulate commerce…among the several states” like Silly Putty since the New Deal, explaining why it cannot be stretched to cover the health insurance mandate is harder than you might think.

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 Monday, August 15, 2011

Federal Court Outlaws School Board Prayers in Delaware DistrictWritten by Dave Bohon
Monday, 15 August 2011 09:19
A federal appeals court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for a Delaware school district to include prayer as part of its regular school board meetings. Prayer has been a part of Indian River board meetings since the school district was founded in 1969, and in 2004 the district formalized a policy in which board members rotate in leading a prayer or moment of silence to “solemnify” the meetings. The policy stipulates that the prayers may be either sectarian or non-sectarian, and may be “in the name of a Supreme Being, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah” — or some other religious entity.

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Welcoming a New Common Noun: ‘the Mubarak’

Posted by Jim Harper

Officials in London are looking everywhere but the mirror for places to affix blame for the recent riots. Beyond the immediate-term answer, individual rioters themselves, the target of choice seems to be “social media.” Prime Minister David Cameron is considering banning Facebook, Twitter, and Blackberry Messenger to disable people from organizing themselves or reporting the locations and activity of the police.

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On Health Care and the Constitution: When Does the High Court Step In?

We’re resisting the impulse to dig too deeply into the 11th Circuit’s opinion striking down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for a couple reasons.

Not only is the ruling over 300 pages long, but, from where we sit, little within those pages actually matters. What matters is this: That a federal appellate court has ruled that the PPACA, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic agenda, violates the U.S. Constitution. As we wrote earlier, the ruling sets up a circuit split, all but guaranteeing that the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word on the law.

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On Health Care and the Constitution: We Now Have a Circuit Split!

If there was ever any doubt that the long-raging debate over the constitutionality of the federal health-care overhaul, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, would ultimately be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, that doubt was all but extinguished today.

Conventional Fed Wisdom, Defied


NEWS last week that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates near zero until mid-2013 was welcomed by many investors, but the bleak message about the economy still came through loud and clear.

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Congress adheres to Constitution only when it wants to

Now that the debt limit crisis has been kicked down the road for another month or so, we need to consider its lasting impact on our Constitution.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Appeals court rules against Obama healthcare mandate

By Jeremy Pelofsky and James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law suffered a setback on Friday when an appeals court ruled that it was unconstitutional to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled 2 to 1 that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but it unanimously reversed a lower court decision that threw out the entire law.

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The System Works
Democratic politics was never meant to be an exercise in aesthetics.

Charles Krauthammer

Of all the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom in today’s Washington, the most lazy, stupid, and ubiquitous is that our politics is broken. On the contrary. Our political system is working well (I make no such claims for our economy), indeed, precisely as designed — profound changes in popular will translated into law that alters the nation’s political direction.

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GOP Debate: Michele Bachmann Says Foreigners Have No Rights  
Written by Thomas R. Eddlem   
Friday, 12 August 2011 10:45
Does Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann really believe foreigners have no rights under American law? Apparently so, according to her remarks during the Ames, Iowa debate August 11.Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked her why Rep. Ron Paul was wrong to insist that trials be held for terror suspects: “You say that we don’t win the war on terror by closing Guantanamo and reading Miranda rights to terrorists. Congressman Paul says terrorists have committed a crime and should be given due process in civilian courts. Could you please tell Congressman Paul why he is wrong?”

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The EPA and the Common Defense  
Written by Bob Confer   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 17:08
Of all of the myriad agencies created and maintained by the Executive Branch, few have proven to be as detrimental to the United States as the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its birth under President Nixon’s executive order in 1970, the mission of the EPA has been to protect human health and the environment. The mission has been mutilated since the start, as the environment (or at least what we are led to believe is the environment) has taken so much precedent that the human health aspect — whether it is the physical, mental, social or economic sort — has been deemed worthless in comparison.

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Is the new “Super Congress” Constitutional?
Written by Thomas R. Eddlem   
Thursday, 04 August 2011 00:00
A number of  constitutionalists have warned that the new “Super Congress” — technically a joint committee of Congress — may be unconstitutional. The new entity will be created out of  the Obama-Boehner debt limit deal. “It smells,” Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) told  Fox News  August 1. “I just don’t understand why Congress is so willing to give up its responsibilities to 12 people…. It’s a reflection that they don’t have answers.”

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

SCHERZ: A Trojan horse named IPAB

Unelected board would usher in socialized medicine

Perhaps the most underreported and, until recently, least discussed aspect of the Affordable Care Act is IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This 15-person unelected panel has yet to be selected; however, it will be a key to the success of Obamacare.

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Judge considers dismissing airport stripping suit

RICHMOND — A judge said Wednesday that he will rule in about two weeks on whether to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a college student who was arrested after stripping to his running shorts at a Richmond International Airport checkpoint to protest security procedures.

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Florida Court Fights To Preserve Ten Commandments Display

It’s been a surprisingly long time since we last heard a debate about the propriety of a Ten Commandments display at a courthouse.

We say surprising because the law governing such displays is fairly squishy.

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Sunset Boulevard Billboard-Fee Fight Shows U.S. Cities Reach High for Cash

By Christopher Palmeri – Aug 11, 2011

West Hollywood is earning $10,500 every four weeks from billboard operators, five months after voters rejected a broader tax on the signs.

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Judge Lets U.S. Weigh in Against New York Fracking Lawsuit

By Tiffany Kary – Aug 11, 2011

The U.S. government won a judge’s permission to advocate for dismissal of a New York lawsuit seeking fuller regulation of natural-gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing.

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Alabama Will Seek State Supreme Court’s Opinion in Immigration Lawsuit

By Andrew Harris – Aug 10, 2011

Alabama asked a U.S. judge to refer to the state’s highest court the question of how two provisions of its newly passed immigration law must be interpreted in light of a state constitution’s protection of religious freedom.

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Terminating the Small Business Administration

by Veronique de Rugy and Tad DeHaven

August 2011

Brief History of the SBA
Loan Guarantees
The Credit Unavailability Myth
The SBA’s Irrelevance
Banking on the SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created by the Small Business Act of 1953.1 The primary purpose of the SBA is to encourage lending to small businesses through government loan guarantees. Other SBA activities include offering direct loans for disaster recovery and helping small businesses gain government contracts.

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by Michael D. Tanner

This article appeared on National Review (Online) on August 10, 2011.

During his brief media appearance on Monday responding to S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and the subsequent stark market plunge, Pres. Barack Obama once again renewed his call for a “balanced approach” to debt reduction, combining modest entitlement reform with tax increases. This was the same formulation repeated endlessly by the president, Democrats in Congress, and much of the media throughout the recent negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.

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Monday, August 08, 2011

In Defense of Our Document

By Michael Hoag    August 7, 2011

Well, that’s it.  Constitution’s irrelevant.  Outdated.  Finished.  We’ve got Twitter, iPads, and Lady Gaga now.  We’re more advanced and enlightened than the Framers could have imagined in the dandiest of drunken stupors.  Older still are the notions of individual rights and the advent of democracy — the Greeks (we even call them ancient Greeks!) introduced a form of citizen rule centuries before their hands ever touched gunpowder.  Surely these ideas, too, are irrelevant, and our greatest minds have more sophisticated solutions to our “unique” modern problems.  Really?

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Effort to overturn Dream Act unconstitutional

7:30 AM EDT, August 8, 2011

Efforts to overturn the Maryland Dream Act granting undocumented resident aliens tuition rates at state colleges equal to those charged citizen residents of Maryland would have voters veto a clause of the 14th Amendment: “No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Read more:,0,1982063.story

A Federal Wealth Tax Requires Constitution To Be Amended First

The reason, and perhaps the only reason, that Congress hasn’t enacted a tax on wealth as Winston Emmons suggests in his letter of Aug. 3 is that a tax on wealth would be a “direct” tax. Congress’s powers of direct taxation are limited by Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution which states, “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

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Court Rules Against Ban On Inmates’ Hormone Treatment

A federal appeals court has struck down a Wisconsin state ban on hormone therapy for transgender prison inmates, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Individual Mandate Not the Only Issue in ObamaCare LawsuitJune 20, 2011
By Mario Loyola

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court heard oral argument in the case of Florida v. U.S., in which 26 state governments sued to have President Obama’s signature health reform law struck down as unconstitutional.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Phony Federalism

The Republican Party is a fickle friend to the 10th Amendment.

Steve Chapman | August 4, 2011

The 10th Amendment to the Constitution is like the skinny teenage girl who blossoms over the summer and suddenly finds herself besieged by suitors. Once ignored, it has found a host of champions among Republican presidential candidates who are competing to show their devotion.

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Judge Authorizes Torture Suit Against Donald Rumsfeld

An Ohio federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by an Army veteran who claims he was imprisoned and tortured unjustly.

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Obama pushes his proposals for job growth

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to put politics aside when lawmakers return from their recess in September and pass a series of initiatives the president says will spur job growth.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011


American by Birth, Exceptional by Choice

By Richard Pecore

Liberals are quick to name-call and accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being racist, prejudiced, or stupid.  To the limited ultra-liberal thought process, these terms add up to only one thing: “conservative.”

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Justice Department Sues Alabama Over Its New Immigration Law

For the second time in the past year, the federal government has filed suit to try to block a state immigration law.

The Justice Department yesterday sued Alabama over a new state law, which takes effect September 1 and makes it a crime to be in Alabama without valid immigration documentation. The law also authorizes state police to verify the immigration status of people arrested. (Here’s an earlier LB post about the law.)

Read more:

Bearing Arms in Public Is Next Legal Battlefield


Gun-ownership advocates are filing lawsuits in courts across the U.S., hoping to get rulings that people have a constitutional right not only to keep firearms in their homes, but to carry them in public.

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A Dangerous Debt Ceiling Deal

By Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D.
August 1, 2011

The deep cuts in defense spending envisioned in the just-announced debt ceiling deal[1] raise a fundamental question for Americans: Will we let a deal stand that promises to end American security as we know it? Or will Americans demand that the deal, born of crisis-driven politics in Washington, be abandoned as they come to understand what is at stake?

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Gov. Perry Favors a Constitutional Amendment on Abortion

First gay marriage. Now this. The former champion of local control is reversing himself on issue after issue.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.) used to be an outspoken proponent of federalism and states right, even on contentious issues like gay marriage and abortion. After deciding that he’d seek the GOP nomination, however, he started pandering to Federal Marriage Amendment supporters who want to impose their traditional definition of marriage on the whole country, even places like New York, where the duly elected legislature voted for same sex marriage.

Read more:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Avoiding the danger of a ‘clean’ BBA

By Ken Blackwell & Ken Klukowski   5:49 PM 07/31/2011Liberals are trying to kill the prospect of a balanced-budget amendment (BBA) in the ongoing battle over the debt ceiling. Some on the right respond that they might settle for a “clean” BBA. But there are two types of clean BBAs, one of which would be worse than no BBA at all.

Balanced budget amendment passage not required for second debt-limit hike

By Pete Kasperowicz – 07/31/11 09:28 PM ETA compromise debt ceiling agreement brokered by the White House and congressional Republicans would not require congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a condition for a second-round increase in the debt ceiling.

A clear and present danger: The national popular vote plan

By Ken Blackwell & Robert Morrison   1:33 PM 07/29/2011 “Revenge is a dish best served cold” is an old French expression. Maybe American politicos ought to pay attention to the wisdom of our overseas friends. We’ve had almost 11 years to contemplate the 2000 election. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore resolved that election some 43 days after Election Day. It was a wrenching experience for millions. Still, we can take pardonable pride in the fact that the mail went out every day, no tanks rumbled through our nation’s capital and we didn’t have any fistfights in Congress over the result.
Read more: the Fed Is Not Independent

by Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr.This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on July 26, 2011. In the wake of the financial crisis and the Federal Reserve’s response, the central bank has come under increased scrutiny and criticism. Fed supporters put up a spirited defense, emphasizing the need to save the institution’s independence. Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Fed’s independence protects the central bank from short-run political pressure.Read more:–Packing Heat-10 Years Later, 2nd Ld-Writethru,383Associated Press1:55 PM CDT, July 31, 201IONIA, Mich.Ten years after Michigan expanded the right of law-abiding adults to carry firearms, some of those who opposed the change say the dangers they feared didn’t come to pass.

Annihilating Democracy with the Tea Party

A Commentary by Gregor Peter Schmitz in WashingtonDemocracy depends on compromise and the American government depends on all branches working together. The Tea Party movement shuns both, preferring instead to drive the state into bankruptcy. On principle.America’s Founding Fathers thought of everything. They wanted to establish several centers of power in Washington rather than just one. They wanted the occupant of the White House to be strong, but Congress was to have the power to check that strength. The friction between Capitol Hill and the White House — a product of this system of checks and balances — was to make the decisions of America’s leaders cleverer, wiser and better.

Tyranny of 87 must stop

(CNN) — We have become victims of the Tyranny of 87. This is not a reference to the years immediately preceding the French Revolution of 1789. I am referring to July 2011 in the United States of America, the greatest democracy in the world. Or so I thought.

Rick Perry’s Fair-Weather Federalism

The Texas governor backtracks on his 10th Amendment support for New York’s gay marriage law.Mike Riggs | July 29, 2011Two of Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s most cherished loves are in conflict. Those two things are the 10th Amendment, which states that the “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people”; and right-wing holy rollers, a constituency that Perry will need if he decides to seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five Facts About the Debt

Setting the economic record straight.

Ira Stoll | July 25, 2011

Five under-appreciated points about the federal budget and debt ceiling:


 Can the Federal Reserve Ride in on a White Eraser?

By Tod Henderson

More and more people are familiar with the Federal Reserve (Fed) and their use of Quantitative Easing (QE) to fund the US’s debt addiction.  In simplest terms the Fed uses their ‘magic pencil’ to add new money to their balance sheet.  This newly-created-out-of-thin-air money is then used to purchase financial assets.  One important type of asset they purchase is US Treasury Bonds — for which they recently have had a voracious appetite.

Read more:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Constitution Condones Slavery?

By John C. Greene

In a recent series called “The State Against Blacks,” John Stossel interviewed Rep. Charles Rangel and made the case that big government has failed the black American family.  Congressman Rangel, an unabashed proponent of big government, asked Stossel, “What do you want?  No government?”  Stossel held up a copy of the Constitution and answered, “No.  I want it this size again.  The Constitution and the Declaration — great government right here.”  To which Rangel responded, “No, that government will throw me back into slavery.  You don’t want that government. Come on, now.  I mean, they weren’t thinking about me when they wrote that book.  I wasn’t even three-fifths of a guy.  So let’s pass that book and say that it was a good beginning and it’s there to improve order and that’s what we’ve done.”

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Death to the Living Constitution

Can “progressive originalism” become the Next Big Thing on the legal left?

Damon W. Root | July 21, 2011

How should progressives approach the U.S. Constitution? Is it a living document, designed to evolve with the changing times? Or does it have a fixed meaning, one that may sometimes support progressive political outcomes?

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From Chicken Game to Constitutional Crisis

Budget Deficit, U.S. Congress, U.S. Constitutional Issues, U.S. Economy

Bill Frenzel, Guest Scholar, Economic Studies

The Brookings Institution

July 18, 2011 —

The Great Chicken Game on the Debt Ceiling is now moving toward a Constitutional crisis. The major players remain at odds. Some Democratic extremists don’t fear default; some Republican extremists actually seem to welcome it.

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Boehner hints at a unilateral debt plan; Geithner shoots down short-term options

By Lori Montgomery, Published: July 23 | Updated: Sunday, July 24, 11:49 AM

House Speaker John A. Boehner and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner appeared on the political talk shows Sunday at the start of a day of crucial talks, and their comments confirmed that the gap between Republicans and the White House on the debt ceiling remains wide and deep.

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Balanced budget amendment: Here’s why it’s a bad idea

Amending the Constitution won’t move us toward a balanced budget anytime soon, and it will rob us of needed flexibility in hard times

By Philip Joyce

12:24 PM EDT, July 21, 2011

The U.S. government teeters on the brink of an unprecedented, self-inflicted debt default, and the House of Representatives can’t seem to keep its eye on the ball.

Read more:,0,7330928.story

Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables


Mark Bittman writes about food for the opinion section.

WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)

sRead more:


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fight against NY gay weddings has only just begun

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — Well-funded national groups that pursue freedom of religion and free speech cases already are soliciting New Yorkers who say their civil rights will be trampled by the new right of gay couples to marry, opening another front in the ongoing contest over same-sex marriage.

Read more;

Obama Seeks Divorce from Federal Marriage Law

The White House has been on the outs for some time with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition and benefits to same-sex married couples.

Read more:

White House signals shift on short-term debt plan if tied to ‘larger deal’

By David Nakamura, Lori Montgomery and William Branigin, Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 3:37 PM

President Obama would consider a short-term measure aimed at raising the nation’s debt ceiling and avoiding a default by Aug. 2 if it were coupled with agreement on a “larger deal” to reduce the deficit, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Read more:

GOP’s ‘cut, cap, balance’ bill sails through House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying a veto threat, the Republican-controlled House voted Tuesday night to slice federal spending by $6 trillion and require a constitutional balanced-budget amendment to be sent to the states in exchange for averting a threatened Aug. 2 government default.

Read more:


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

He wrote the book on it: Sen. Mike Lee talks ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’

By Caroline May – The Daily Caller   2:59 PM 07/18/2011

With the national debt at $14 trillion, federal spending continuing to soar, and Washington embroiled in a heated debate about the debt ceiling, Tea Party darling, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee continues to make his case for a balanced budget amendment in the new book  The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment Is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government.


GOP Balancing Act

A balanced budget amendment is the wrong debt solution.  

Republicans this week plan to force votes in the House and Senate on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The last time Congress voted on a BBA was in 1997. It failed. The first unsuccessful BBA was proposed in 1936. All efforts between now and then to vote a balanced budget amendment into the Constitution have failed. This one will as well, as there are sufficient Democratic votes in the Senate to block it.

What, then, is the point?

Read more:


For Amazon, stakes are high in sales tax fight

Amazon is battling the online tax in several states, arguing that if even one state is successful in forcing it to collect sales taxes, it could ‘result in substantial tax liabilities for past sales.’ In New York, the retailer has been paying the levy so the law can be challenged in court.

By Nathaniel Popper, Los Angeles Times

July 19, 2011 Inc. has insisted that California’s new law requiring it to collect sales taxes from customers in the state would hurt the company’s ability to compete in the nation’s biggest retail market.

Read more:,0,5661341.story


5 American Economic Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

By John Hawkins


“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the drug store, but that’s just peanuts to space.” — Douglas Adams

Like Douglas Adams’ description of space, the economic issues in this country have become quite big. In fact, most people are, in a very real way, unable to comprehend how “vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big” our problems have become. It’s all “trillions” this, default that, Apoco-bankruptcy-Armagedde-debt-alipse. That’s why so many people look at you like a cat peering at a calculus book when you try to explain the scope of issues we’re facing.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

 The right to take pictures at security checkpoint is debated

BY CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT • Tribune Media Services | Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 12:00 am

Mind your camera when you’re traveling this summer.

Taking an innocent snapshot in a public area may get you in trouble, even if photography is allowed. It almost landed Ryan Miklus behind bars when he flew from Phoenix to Reno, Nev., with his parents recently.

Read more:


Time For Once Upon A Time In America

By Richard F. Miniter

For many years now America has been profoundly altering its culture, reordering its economy, and shedding individual liberties in response to inventive short stories told by liberal left-wing theorists.  Yet, whenever one of these stories turns out to be a fairytale, as they all invariably do, we rarely back up and repair the damage.

Read more:


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Court Rejects Challenge to Airport Body Scanners


WASHINGTON—A federal appeals court Friday rejected a privacy group’s constitutional challenge to the Transportation Security Administration’s use of full-body scanners to screen passengers at U.S. airports.

Read more:

Obama Pushes for Debt Compromise


WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Saturday prodded congressional leaders to compromise as part of efforts to slash the country’s deficit and reiterated that ending tax breaks for the wealthy must be part of any major deal.

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On debt crisis, Obama makes direct appeal to US public: ‘We are all in this together’

By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, July 16, 3:52 PM

WASHINGTON — Racing the debt clock, Congress is working on dual tracks while President Barack Obama appeals to the public in hopes of influencing a deal that talks have failed to produce so far.

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What is the debt? A look at commonly asked questions and the latest developments in standoff

By Associated Press, Published: July 15

Congress has until Aug. 2 to raise the federal borrowing limit or the government will run out of money and possibly default on its debt. House Republicans say they won’t raise the debt limit without equal spending cuts. President Barack Obama and Democrats insist that higher revenues must be included.

Read more:


Court: ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ to stay in place, per Obama administration request

By Associated Press, Published: July 14 | Updated: Saturday, July 16, 1:55 AM

LOS ANGELES — A federal appeals court late Friday ordered the military to temporarily continue its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for openly gay service members, responding to a request from the Obama administration.

sRead more:

NSA employee accused of leaking information sentenced to probation

By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

9:12 PM EDT, July 15, 2011

Thomas Andrews Drake, the former NSA employee accused of felony espionage but convicted of a misdemeanor computer violation, was sentenced Friday in Baltimore’s federal court to 240 hours of community service and one year’s probation.

Read more:,0,7628749.story

Judge dismisses Safeway suit against San Francisco ban on tobacco in stores with pharmacies

By Associated Press, Published: July 15

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday found that the city of San Francisco has a right to ban tobacco sales in stores with pharmacies even if the pharmacy is not the store’s main business.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken dism

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Police violated rights of Harford activists, judge rules

Police ordered anti-abortion group to remove graphic posters, then arrested demonstrators

By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

5:12 PM EDT, July 15, 2011

A federal judge has ruled that police in Harford County violated the constitutional rights of seven demonstrators who staged an anti-abortion display along a state highway near Bel Air three years ago.

Read more:,0,1122144.story

Friday July 15, 2011


NRA Delivers Remarks at United Nations Concerning Proposed Arms Trade Treaty  

Thursday, July 14, 2011  


National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed the United Nations this afternoon. He told the U.N. to not interfere with the Second Amendment freedoms of Americans and pledged to continue the fight to preserve civilian ownership of firearms in the U.S. He said the NRA will oppose any U.N. provision that seeks to prohibit or regulate U.S. civilian firearm ownership.  LaPierre said in his remarks, “The cornerstone of our freedom is the Second Amendment. Neither the United Nations, nor any other foreign influence, has the authority to meddle with the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights, endowed by our Creator, and due to all humankind.”

Read more: 


U.S. House Committee Passes Amendment to Defund Illegal Obama Firearm Sales Reporting Requirement

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today, during consideration of the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, pro-gun U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting plan proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The Amendment was passed by a vote of 25-16.

Read more:


US to crack down on arms trafficking over Mexico border

The US Justice Department has announced plans to cut arms trafficking into Mexico by monitoring the sale of assault rifles in border states in the wake of a scandal over the ‘Fast and Furious’ gun tracing operation.

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Pentagon unveils its new cyberstrategy. Well, some of it, anyway.

The Pentagon – belatedly, perhaps – outlines its ‘Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.’ A slim unclassified document emphasizes a defensive posture, leaving many questions unanswered.

Read more:


GOP injects bid for balanced budget constitutional amendment into showdown over debt limit

By Associated Press, Thursday, July 14, 2:06 PM

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are rallying behind a long-shot bid for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. But they’re divided over conservatives’ efforts to demand its passage as their price for backing any increase in the government’s borrowing limit.

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The danger in political pledges

By Michael Gerson, Thursday, July 14, 7:15 PM

A revolt gathers among Republicans against the place of pledges in politics.

First, Sen. Tom Coburn declared his independence from a portion of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Then Mitt Romney and Herman Cain rejected elements of the Susan B. Anthony List’s Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge, which Romney found to be “overly broad.” Now Romney, Cain, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty have refused to sign the Family Leader’s 14-point promise in Iowa — a comprehensive list of social conservative policy commitments that includes a personal promise of marital faithfulness.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Gun Activist Takes Aim at U.S. Regulatory Power


MISSOULA, Mont.—With a homemade .22-caliber rifle he calls the Montana Buckaroo, Gary Marbut dreams of taking down the federal regulatory state.

Read more:

A New Wrinkle: a Push for Budget Amendment

Some in GOP Want Balanced-Budget Amendment Before Borrowing-Limit Boost


A growing number of Republicans say Congress must pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution before they will vote to raise the government’s borrowing limit, creating a serious new wrinkle in the debt talks.

Read more:

Suing Perry over prayer day

A group of atheists and agnostics filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to stop an evangelical Christian prayer event next month that was proposed and is endorsed by Texas’ governor.

Read more:

Dems squeeze Medicare with IPAB
By: Rep. Fred Upton
July 13, 2011 12:16 AM EDT

Medicare is in serious trouble. The Medicare Trust Fund will be bankrupt in 2024, according to the 2011 Medicare Trustees Report — five years earlier than projected just last year.

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EASTLAND: What the founders tried to tell us

By Larry L. Eastland – Special to The Washington Times

As Benjamin Franklin was leaving Constitution Hall on Sept. 17, 1787, he heard a lady ask, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a republic or a monarchy?” To which he replied: “A republic, madam – if you can keep it.”

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ROWES: The two-faced Commerce Clause

Courts say Constitution grants broad powers to Congress – but not individuals

The Obamacare lawsuits working their way to the Supreme Court are about more than whether Congress can force us to buy private health insurance. The nine justices will also have to decide whether Americans are free people or blind salamanders.

Read more:


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

School Czar Flunks Civics

by Neal McCluskey

This article appeared in The Orange County Register on July 9, 2011.

Even as renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act looks increasingly unlikely anytime soon, the debate over Washington’s place in schooling has heated up. Unfortunately, all the noise has drowned out the primary — but almost completely forgotten — reasons Washington should keep to itself: its very limited Constitutional powers and human reality.


Failing Liberty 101

By Walter E. Williams


A recent Superman comic book has the hero saying, “I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship” because “truth, justice, and the American way — it’s not enough anymore.” Though not addressing Superman’s statement, Stanford University professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow William Damon explains how such a vision could emerge today but not yesteryear. The explanation is found in his article “American Amnesia,” in Defining Ideas (7/1/2011), based upon

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As Talks Stall, New Debt Plan Offered

McConnell Breaks GOP Ranks, Says the President Should Be Given Authority to Raise the Borrowing Limit on His Own


Negotiations over a deficit-reduction agreement spiraled downward Tuesday as the White House and congressional leaders dug in even as anxiety mounted that they could wait too long to reach a deal to avoid a government default.

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iPhone-Based Facial Recognition Coming to a Police Department Near You

New technology will also allow for on-site eye-scans and fingerprinting

Josh Wolford | July 13, 2011

Law enforcement officials are about to get some new technology that will help them quickly identify persons of interest while in the field

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Federal Court Rules Against Loughner’s Forced Medication

By Patrick G. Lee

Jared Lee Loughner – who was accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 more people in Tucson, Ariz., in January – can continue to reject psychotropic drug treatment, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday.

Read more:


Monday, July 11, 2011

We Don’t Need No Stinking Constitution Commentary

Posted By admin On July 8, 2011 @ 11:53 am

By Larry Elder

“When the chief justice read me the oath,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt said to a speechwriter, “and came to the words ‘support the Constitution of the United States,’ I felt like saying: ‘Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy — not the kind of Constitution your court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.’”

Read more:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Constitutional Nonsense on Debt
What the 14th Amendment really says about the debt ceiling and debt default

Lo and behold! As we celebrated this Fourth of July amid the debt-ceiling fight, the netroots and progressive pundits suddenly discovered the Constitution’s relevance in fiscal matters. It doesn’t seem like that long ago — because it wasn’t that long ago — that they ridiculed the very idea of constitutional limits on Congress in economic policymaking, and even mocked the GOP’s public reading of the Constitution at the beginning of the current session.

Read more:

Ballots, Not Judges, Will Decide This

Regarding your editorial “Judge Sutton’s Imaginary Mandate” (July 5): Constitutional challenges to the individual mandate face steeper legal hurdles than just the “as applied” versus “facial” challenge distinction raised by Judge Jeffrey Sutton in the Sixth Circuit appellate opinion. There remains a long line of unfortunate and flawed Supreme Court precedents regarding the broad scope of the powers granted to Congress under both the Commerce Clause (a de minimus level for activities to “substantially affect” interstate commerce) and the Necessary and Proper Clause (bootstraps supplied by regulatory schemes). Several current “judicial restraint” conservative Justices—John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia—were complicit in at least one recent expansive interpretation (Gonzales v. Raich, U.S. v. Comstock) of federal regulatory power. The trio also remain reluctant to launch a new round of indeterminate interpretations of constitutional clauses, based on fine distinctions such as those between “activity” and “inactivity,” that would be hard to enforce consistently.

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A Republic, if you can keep it
By: Joe Scarborough
July 5, 2011 04:31 AM EDT

I began this year’s Fourth of July like I start every one: in search of a New York Times to find the full-page image of the Declaration of Independence. Whether I’m in Florida or New York, I am wired every Independence Day to grab my Times and leaf through the paper until I see those words “IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776” across the top of the page.

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Tribe: No 14th Amendment solution
By: Reid J. Epstein
July 8, 2011 07:32 AM EDT

One of President Barack Obama’s most enthusiastic supporters, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, said on Friday the White House and Congress can’t fall back on the 14th Amendment to make an end run around the current debt crisis.

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Obama, say ‘I do’ to gay marriage
By: Evan Wolfson
July 8, 2011 06:25 AM EDT

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department hit one out of the ballpark with the powerful, historic brief filed July 1 in one of the many court challenges to the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

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House blocks funds for Libyan rebels
By: Seung Min Kim
July 7, 2011 03:37 PM EDT

The House on Thursday voted to limit how the U.S. can spend money on military efforts in Libya, but rejected a measure to defund the operation entirely.

Read more:

Friday, July 08, 2011

King Obama: Are We In Danger Of An Imperial Presidency?

By Jerry Bowyer

Jul. 7 2011 – 11:42 am

Are we in danger of an imperial presidency? I just can’t seem to pin down the liberal line on that question. Many of the liberal voices that were shrieking “wolf” when President George W. Bush was in office now employ the same tongues in enthusiastic presidential boot-licking, kowtowing before the White House and offering craven support for every whim of presidential ambition.

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Sights Set on Grand Debt Deal

Obama, Congressional Leaders Eye Sweeping Bargain to Cut Deficit by $4 Trillion


President Barack Obama and congressional leaders agreed Thursday to strive for a blockbuster deficit-reduction deal and will spend the weekend determining whether political support is possible for a sweeping plan to curb entitlements and make major tax-code changes.

Read more:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Obama Skirts Question on 14th Amendment’s Place in Debt Talks

By Jeffrey Sparshott

President Barack Obama sidestepped a question on whether the 14th Amendment would allow the federal government to issue more debt if Congress refuses to raise the country’s legal borrowing limit. Instead, he said he expects to strike a deal with lawmakers in the coming weeks.

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Report: Treasury plans to avoid default
By: Jennifer Epstein
July 7, 2011 07:25 AM EDT

The Treasury Department is secretly scrambling to find ways to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debts if Congress is unable to raise the debt ceiling ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, according to a report Thursday.

Read more:


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Overrule the Supreme Court on campaign finance reform

‘Separation of campaign and state’ misunderstands the Constitution and harms the country; it’s time for a constitutional amendment

By Christopher J. Peters

4:45 PM EDT, July 5, 2011

Democracy has been called a government of laws, not of men; but who makes the laws that govern democracy? Not you, me, or our fellow citizens — at least, not according to the five-justice conservative majority on the Supreme Court, who continue to chip away at our authority to govern ourselves. We must reclaim that authority soon or risk losing it forever.

Read more:,0,786500.story

Constitutional Crisis? The Political And Legal Risks Of Ignoring The Debt Limit


Ryan J. Reilly and Brian Beutler | July 5, 2011, 5:45AM

While the federal government has been playing chicken with U.S. credit, liberal academics — and even some Democratic members of Congress — have begun questioning whether the legislative branch actually has the power under the Constitution to force the federal government to default on its debts.

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Can President Obama just ignore the debt limit?

Some economists suggest that the 14th Amendment renders the debt limit conversation moot (and maybe unconstitutional): the US must pay its debts. Period.

President Obama speaks during a Democratic National Committee event in Philadelphia on June 30. Some economists suggest that the US must pay its debts, so Obama can ignore the debt-limit standoff in Congress.
(Carolyn Kaster / AP)

By Peter Grier, Staff writer
posted July 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm EDT

The debt limit standoff is getting more serious by the day. Republicans continue to insist that they won’t vote for any deal to cut the deficit and raise the debt limit ceiling that includes tax increases. Democrats continue to insist that they won’t vote for any such deal that doesn’t include some revenue enhancements.

Read more:


Debt Ceiling Fight Setting Up Constitutional Crisis

by Jessica P. July 4,2011

With debt ceiling negotiations apparently dead in the water and the August 2nd deadline fast approaching, those hoping to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of a default have started to look for alternative ways to solve what has become an entrenched partisan battle.  So far, the only answers emerging seem to present equally messy constitutional issues.

Read more:


Poll battle shaping up between tea party, labor

Written by
Howard Wilkinson
10:50 PM, Jul. 5, 2011|

It’s not often that the national political parties are watching closely what happens in Ohio in an “off-year” election, but two statewide ballot issues will be seen as tests of strength for the 2012 presidential contest for both supporters of President Obama and for the tea party movement.

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Case against Clearfield santero dismissed

 By Aaron falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jul 05 2011 11:48AM
Updated 7 hours ago Updated Jul 5, 2011 11:05PM

Prosecutors have dropped the case against a Santería clergyman accused of keeping two human skulls in a shed behind his Clearfield home, saying they want to further investigate the case’s constitutional issues.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Devil’s Bargain

How plea agreements, never contemplated by the Framers, undermine justice

Timothy Lynch from the July 2011 issue

Most Americans are under the mistaken impression that when the government accuses someone of a crime, the case typically  proceeds to trial, where a jury of laypeople hears arguments from the prosecution and the defense, then deliberates over the evidence before deciding on the defendant’s guilt or innocence. This image of American justice is wildly off the mark. Criminal cases rarely go to trial, because about 95 percent are resolved by plea bargains. In a plea bargain, the prosecutor usually offers a reduced prison sentence if the defendant agrees to waive his right to a jury trial and admit guilt in a summary proceeding before a judge.

Read more:


Monday, July 04, 2011

Why Time magazine’s Orwellian story on the Constitution is wrong

By Ken Blackwell & Ken Klukowski 1:27 PM 07/03/2011

Time magazine’s cover story shows the U.S. Constitution and asks, “Does it still matter?” Reading this story, we kept waiting for Emmanuel Goldstein to show up for the Two Minutes of Hate. It was difficult to discern whether we were reading Time or Orwell’s 1984.
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Sunday, July 03, 2011

GOP’s balanced-budget right turn
By: Jake Sherman and Marin Cogan
July 1, 2011 12:20 AM EDT

Republicans have plenty of ways to push a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.

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Is the debt ceiling unconstitutional?

By Jeanne Sahadi @CNNMoney June 30, 2011: 9:39 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Amid fears the United States risks default if lawmakers don’t raise the debt ceiling on time, some are suggesting President Obama could save the day by big-footing Congress.

Read more:

Public Debt Clause Roundup

Posted by mstern on 2 July 2011, 11:00 pm

There have been a number of Public Debt Clause developments over the last couple of days.

Read more:

Advocates consider suing over NJ medical marijuana

Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — Advocates say they will consider suing the state if Gov. Chris Christie continues to stand in the way of implementing a law that legalizes marijuana for medical use.

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Court Tosses Affirmative-Action Ban


ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a state constitutional amendment that barred Michigan colleges from considering race or gender in admissions decisions.

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Appeals Court Says Health Law Is Constitutional


A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the 2010 health-care law Wednesday, handing the Obama administration its biggest victory yet as challenges to the president’s signature initiative advance toward the Supreme Court.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Is Democracy Viable?

Thomas Sowell

The media have recently been so preoccupied with a Congressman’s photograph of himself in his underwear that there has been scant attention paid to the fact that Iran continues advancing toward creating a nuclear bomb, and nobody is doing anything that is likely to stop them.

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July 4th

By Thomas Sowell


The Fourth of July may be just a holiday for fireworks to some people. But it was a momentous day for the history of this country and the history of the world.

Not only did July 4, 1776 mark American independence from England, it marked a radically different kind of government from the governments that prevailed around the world at the time — and the kinds of governments that had prevailed for thousands of years before.

The American Revolution was not simply a rebellion against the King of England, it was a rebellion against being ruled by kings in general. That is why the opening salvo of the American Revolution was called “the shot heard round the world.”

Autocratic rulers and their subjects heard that shot — and things that had not been questioned for millennia were now open to challenge. As the generations went by, more and more autocratic governments around the world proved unable to meet that challenge.

Some clever people today ask whether the United States has really been “exceptional.” You couldn’t be more exceptional in the 18th century than to create your fundamental document — the Constitution of the United States — by opening with the momentous words, “We the people…”

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

High court to rule on TV indecency, GPS tracking

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has added a couple of high-profile constitutional challenges to its lineup of cases for next term: One looking at governmental regulation of television content and the other dealing with the authority of police to use a GPS device to track a suspect’s movements without a warrant.

The Supreme Court Refurbishes the First Amendment in Arizona

The Supreme Court Refurbishes the First Amendment in Arizona The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, issued an outstanding decision today (PDF) properly applying the First Amendment when it struck down as unconstitutional Arizona’s public financing system for political candidates.  There is no doubt that Roberts and the four justices who joined him in the majority opinion in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett will be assailed by the same misinformed critics that went after the Court for its decision in Citizens United.  But our history and fundamental principle of protecting free speech leaves no doubt that the Court acted properly when it threw out a law that impermissibly burdened and censored the political speech of Arizona candidates and independent groups.

Read more:

California Can’t Curb Children’s Access to Videogames


The Supreme Court struck down Monday a California law blocking minors from buying violent videogames, voting 7-2 that it violates the First Amendment. It was the latest ruling by the high court to take a broad view of free-speech rights. Read more:

When is a war not a war? When Americans can’t get hurt, Obama says

Jonathan Schell says the Obama administration twists logic and semantics to avoid the authority of the War Powers Act

By Jonathan Schell 6:00 AM EDT, June 27, 2011 The Obama administration has come up with a remarkable justification for going to war against Libya without the congressional approval required by the Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973.

Read more:,0,997973.story

Several States Forbid Abortion After 20 Weeks


Dozens of new restrictions passed by states this year have chipped away at the right to abortion by requiring women to view ultrasounds, imposing waiting periods or cutting funds for clinics. But a new kind of law has gone beyond such restrictions, striking at the foundation of the abortion rules set out by the Supreme Court over the last four decades.

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Politicians to test Nevada justices on hot issues

By Doug McMurdo

Nevada Supreme Court justices have a sworn duty to stand above politics and base their decisions not on personal opinions or party ideology, but solely on the U.S. and Nevada constitutions and the rule of law.

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High court to rule on FCC indecency policy

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will take up the First Amendment fight over what broadcasters can put on the airwaves when young children may be watching television.

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Court to review expletives ban
By: Brooks Boliek
June 27, 2011 10:53 AM EDT Brushing aside arguments from the major broadcast networks, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide if the FCC’s policy banning “fleeting expletives” uttered on broadcast TV is a free speech violation.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

The past is prologue; the future is bleak

FRANK MIELE/Daily Inter Lake | Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 11:45 pm

It was rightly said some years ago that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Too bad the same cannot be said about modern American education.

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Signing away constitutional rights
By: Susan Saladoff
June 26, 2011 09:34 PM EDT

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion et ux. told corporations that it is okay for them to write clauses into contracts that prevent people from filing class actions.

Read more:

New York Gay Marriage Vote Alters Political Battle Lines


New York’s decision to permit same-sex marriages sets the stage for battles in half a dozen other states and could propel gay rights as a political wedge issue in the 2012 elections.

Read more:

Emergency Manager Law Faces Challenge


DETROIT—A Michigan law that broadened the state’s power to intervene in financially troubled municipalities and school districts faces a fresh challenge as a left-leaning activist law center filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging the statute violates the state constitution.

Read more:

Recession-wary performers turn Las Vegas Strip into parade of cartoon, movie characters

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, June 27, 3:01 AM

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Strip is teeming with Spidermen, Elmos and Elvis Presleys of all waistlines.

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How Congress can empower the ATF

By Editorial, Published: June 26

THE GUN RIGHTS lobby has spent considerable time and energy in pursuit of one goal: crippling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It has largely succeeded — and with dire consequences.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Man suing government over raid at 7-Eleven fled to U.S. because of death threatImmigration officials say lawsuit should be thrown out and man deported

By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

10:48 AM EDT, June 25, 2011Sitting on a bus in Honduras in 2002, Denis Alvarez Alvarado says he overheard two men in front of him discussing how he was going to die.

Read more:,0,2065062.story

House Assails Obama’s Libya Policy

Lawmakers Rebuke White House but Keep Funding NATO-led Effort, as National-Security Politics Entangle Both Parties


WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives issued a rebuke to President Barack Obama’s Libya policy on Friday, but continued funding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led operation in the country, with votes that showed how the politics of national security have become scrambled in both parties.

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Federal Regulation?

Congress makes another effort to regain control of regulation.

By Jonathan H. Adler | Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Over the past several decades, the scope, reach, and cost of federal regulations have increased dramatically.  As the federal regulatory state has grown, legislative control over regulatory policy has declined.  Long after authorizing legislation is adopted, agencies continue to adopt regulations and implement policies with relatively little legislative input or oversight. At the same time, presidential administrations of both parties have used administrative regulationsto implement policies and programs that Congress failed to approve. As legislative control over regulatory policy has waned,

Read more:


Friday, June 24, 2011


Time magazine cover features shredded U.S. Constitution, asks if it still matters

By Jeff Poor – The Daily Caller   2:57 PM 06/23/2011

Provocative? Perhaps, but that’s nothing new for Time magazine with a history of taking iconic American symbols and using them to make political statements.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Data-Mining, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
June 23, 2011

WASHINGTON — Data on which doctors are prescribing which drugs is speech that is protected by the First Amendment, and pharmaceutical companies have every right to buy that information and use it to target their marketing efforts, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Read more:

Who takes us to war?

By Charles Krauthammer, Published: June 23

Is the Libya war legal? Under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, it is not. President Obama has exceeded the 90-day period to receive retroactive authorization from Congress.

Read more :


Could New Cigarette Warning Labels Prompt Litigation?

Packs of cigarettes will soon be a lot harder to look at, after U.S. regulators mandated that cigarette makers add graphic warning labels to their products depicting such images as a man exhaling smoke through a hole in his neck.

Read more:

NY gay-marriage talks hinge on religious rights

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — Will the Knights of Columbus be required to open their halls for gay weddings if New York lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage? Will Catholic adoption agencies be forced to choose between placing children with gay married couples or leaving the business?

Read more:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Legal Acrobatics, Illegal War


New Haven

IT has now been over three months since the first NATO bombs fell on Libya, yet President Obama has failed to request Congressional approval for military action, as required by the War Powers Act of 1973. The legal machinations Mr. Obama has used to justify war without Congressional consent set a troubling precedent that could allow future administrations to wage war at their convenience — free of legislative checks and balances.

Read more:

The Dumbing-Down of America

By Pat Buchanan


“Is our children learning?” as George W. Bush so famously asked.

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SCOTUS: Civil Litigants Do Not Have Automatic Right to Counsel

The Supreme Court issued yet another important opinion yesterday, ruling that poor civil litigants who face possible jail time do not have an automatic constitutional right to counsel.

Read more:

Monday, June 20, 2011

. . . And the Climate Tort Cashiered

Justice Ginsburg’s finest hour.

Yesterday’s other important Supreme Court decision (see above) came in a case that joined the green lobby and the trial bar, if that isn’t redundant. The Court unanimously struck down one of the legal left’s most destructive theories, and not a moment too soon.

Read more:

Libya: It’s the Constitution, stupid

By Luke Broadwater

4:31 PM EDT, June 20, 2011

There’s a debate swirling in the country right now about the War Powers Act in relation to the war/non-war/”squirmish” in Libya.

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to cut funding for the Libyan war unless President Barack Obama seeks congressional approval 60 days after the start of hostilities, which the War Powers Act requires. About 60 percent of both House Republicans and Democrats supported this action, but the leadership of neither party did.

Read more:,0,4105086.story

Notable & Quotable

J ustice Anthony Kennedy writing for a unanimous Supreme Court in Bond v. United States, June 16:

Federalism is more than an exercise in setting the boundary between different institutions of government for their own integrity. . . . Federalism also protects the liberty of all persons within a State by ensuring that laws enacted in excess of delegated governmental power cannot direct or control their actions. . . . By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power. When government acts in excess of its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake. . . . The limitations that federalism entails are not therefore a matter of rights belonging only to the States. States are not the sole intended beneficiaries of federalism. . . . An individual has a direct interest in objecting to laws that upset the constitutional balance between the National Government and the States when the enforcement of those laws causes injury that is concrete, particular, and redressable. Fidelity to principles of federalism is not for the States alone to vindicate.

Rep. Kucinich Targets Funding for War in Libya

Dennis Kucinich is taking another swing at the Obama administration’s actions in Libya, just a couple of days after filing a lawsuit accusing the commander-in-chief of violating the 1973 War Powers Act

Read more: 40 Years of Drug War Failure – LEAP’s Neill Franklin

Nick Gillespie & Joshua Swain | June 17, 2011

On June 17, 1971 President Richard Nixon launched the modern-day drug war, an effort perpetuated by every one of his successors.

As the reform group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) documents in a new comprehensive study, the drug war has destroyed lives and property, shredded the constitution, and distorted American education, health care, and even foreign policy. That’s why, notes LEAP, fully 75 percent of Americans and 69 percent of police chiefs agree that the drug war has failed.

Read more:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yoo: GOP abandoning principles on war powers
By: Reid J. Epstein
June 17, 2011 10:08 AM EDT

Former Bush administration attorney John Yoo, who authored the memos providing the legal rationale for torture, says that House Republicans seeking to stop military operations in Libya are going against GOP foreign policy principles.

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Bartlett, colleagues, sue Obama over Libya

Bipartisan group is angered over U.S. military involvement

By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun

11:05 PM EDT, June 15, 2011

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday in filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama over U.S. involvement in Libya, alleging that the White House overstepped its constitutional authority when it launched the military effort in March.

Read more :,0,6998590.story

Over objections, state will lease land to Catholic hospital

Panel approves deal despite outcry from women’s groups

By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

12:07 AM EDT, June 16, 2011

Over the objections of Maryland women’s rights groups, a state panel agreed Wednesday to lease land to a Roman Catholic hospital that does not generally perform abortions or provide birth control.

Read more:,0,2147789.story


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Moral Dilemma

By Walter E. Williams


Most of our nation’s problems are a direct result of our being immune, hostile or indifferent to several moral questions. Let’s start out with the simple and move to the more complex. Or, stated another way, let’s begin with questions that generate the least hostility, moving to those that generate the greatest.

Read  more:


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why ObamaCare Is Losing in the Courts

The government’s lawyers keep changing their arguments as each one is exposed as constitutionally suspect.


When we first articulated ObamaCare’s fundamental constitutional flaws in these pages nearly two years ago, our objections were met with derision by the law’s defenders. Those who have been following the unfolding litigation are no longer laughing.

Read more:

Federal Suit Challenges New Texas Abortion Law

State lawmakers across the country this year have passed or proposed bills restricting abortion rights, including imposing time limits for women to seek abortions and requirements that women first consult with health professionals before terminating a pregnancy.

Read more:


Monday, June 13, 2011

Only Remedy for Weiner is Limited Government

By Star Parker


Surveys of voters in Anthony Weiner’s district in Queens, NY show they forgive him and want him to remain as their congressman. End of story. This is a democracy, right? And the House of Representatives is the people’s house.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Government by the ‘experts’

By George F. Will, Published: June 10

“The legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands. . . . The power of the legislative, being derived from the people . . . [is] only to make laws, and not to make legislators.”

— John Locke

“Second Treatise of Government”

Here, however, is a paradox of sovereignty: The sovereign people, possessing the right to be governed as they choose, might find the exercise of that right tiresome and so might choose to be governed in perpetuity by a despot they cannot subsequently remove. Congress did something like that in passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

Read more:

Time for a Return to Checks and Balances

By Ken Connor


In December, 2007, the Boston Globe published a Q&A with then-candidate Barack Obama in which the subject of Executive War Powers was addressed. “In what circumstances, if any,” Charlie Savage asked, “would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?” Mr. Obama’s answer was unequivocal in its condemnation of unilateral executive action relating to war:

Read  more:


Friday, June 10, 2011

Post A Picture That ‘Causes Emotional Distress’ And You Could Face Jailtime In Tennessee

from the outlawing-jerks? dept

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a troubling trend in various state laws which attempt to come up with ways to outlaw being a jerk online. Many of these are based on politicians and/or the public taking an emotional reaction to something bad happening after some does something online that angered someone else. Of course, while it would be nice if jerks would go away or jerky behavior would cease, that’s just not realistic. The real issue is: how can it be constitutional to outlaw being a jerk? In many cases it raises serious First Amendment issues, among other things. The latest to jump into this game is the state of Tennessee, which apparently decided that just throwing people in jail for sharing music subscription passwords wasn’t enough: now they want to put people in jail for “causing emotional distress” to others.

Read more:

Congress’ Bipartisan Vice Is Cowardice
By Jonah Goldberg
USA Today
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Washington is suddenly embroiled in one of its most time-honored traditions, a debate about the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution, specifically how it should be applied to our efforts in Libya. But don’t worry! This is not a column about the War Powers Act, the term paper topic of choice for earnest AP social studies students for roughly the past four decades. Instead, it is about the bipartisan problem of institutional cowardice in the American political system.

Read more:

Circumcision and constitutional law

This past semester I taught Constitutional Law. For the final exam, I prepared a question on “intactivism” – the belief in the right of baby boys to keep their foreskins intact. Students were asked to review the ban on circumcision that a San Francisco-based group of intactivists has proposed for that city (as well as several related hypothetical legal issues).

Read more:

Scalia rips lawmakers as being as sleepy and lazy

6/9/2011 | APNews

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is not the sort who leaves readers wondering what he really thinks, especially when it comes to members of Congress. In two opinions Thursday, Scalia disparaged lawmakers, not for the first time, as sleepy and lazy.

Read more:

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Judges Offer Mixed View on Health Law


ATLANTA—A federal appeals court Wednesday took up the most significant legal challenge to last year’s health law, with judges giving mixed signals on the central issue of whether it was constitutional to require people to carry insurance or pay a penalty.

Read more:


The Obamacare Lawsuit: From the Courtroom in Atlanta

Posted by Ilya Shapiro

ATLANTA — In the most important appeal of the Obamacare constitutional saga, today was the best day yet for individual freedom.  The government’s lawyer, Neal Katyal, spent most of the hearing on the ropes, with the judicial panel extremely cautious not to extend federal power beyond its present outer limits of regulating economic activity that has a substantial aggregate effect on interstate commerce.

Read more:

Dude, Like, What’s the Constitution, Anyway?

Posted By Leslie Grimard On June 8, 2011 @ 1:59 pm In First Principles

A third of graduated and rising high school seniors – who will be voting in the 2012 elections – have never studied the U.S. Constitution.

Read more:


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Gun Owners Up In Arms

Jun. 7 2011 – 2:04 pm


There are many like me, and fewer of them would be alive today were it not for exercise of their gun rights. In fact law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times during 1993 (about 6,850 times per day), and actually shot and killed 2 1/2 times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606). Those civilian self-defense shootings resulted in less than 1/5th as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

Read more:

Panel weighs nixing individual mandate
By: Jennifer Haberkorn
June 8, 2011 04:09 PM EDT
ATLANTA — A federal appeals panel asked pointed questions Wednesday about how much of President Barack Obama’s health care law would have to be struck down if they ruled that its individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional.

Read more:

White House: Buy Health Insurance or Be Poor

by Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. He has filed six briefs in the various cases challenging the health care reform, including in the 26-state lawsuit that the government is appealing this week before the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

Added to on June 8, 2011

This article appeared in The Newark Star-Ledger on June 8, 2011.

The federal appellate court in Atlanta will hear arguments today on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), including the government’s latest position that the law doesn’t really require people to buy health insurance at all. We have the option instead of earning less money. Not only is this bad lawyering, it’s un-American. It suggests Congress can do anything it wants to us because we always have the “opt out” of renouncing our worldly possessions and heading for the hills.

Read more:


Bill to extend FBI director’s term faces legal doubts

White House-endorsed legislation to extend FBI Director Robert Mueller’s term may be constitutionally flawed and should be abandoned, a law professor told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning.

Read more:


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

7 Responsibilities You Have As An American

By John Hawkins


You hear a lot about “rights” in America. You have a right to an attorney. You have a right to remain silent. You have a right to free speech, a right to “keep and bear arms,” a right to “due process,” and a right to have “equal protection under the law.”

Read more:

ObamaCare’s Next Constitutional Challenge

The Medicaid provision of the health law spells the death knell for competition among the states.


The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?

Read more:

Judge may reconsider ruling on corporate donations ban

By Jordy Yager – 06/05/11 07:02 AM ET

A federal judge this week may reconsider his ruling that the ban on corporations giving money directly to political candidates is unconstitutional.

Read more:


Monday June 6, 2011

High Court Rejects GE Superfund Challenge


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider General Electric Co.’s challenge to a federal law that allows regulators to order companies to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous waste.

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Back off. It’s my plate.

By Walter Olson 4:56 PM 06/03/2011

Yesterday the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the government’s new nutritional chart, which you can check out at the suggestively nannyish URLs or (“Please, guv, could you choose my plate? You know best.”) It’s a sort of segmented cafeteria dish with unequal compartments, slightly larger for “vegetables” and “grains,” slightly smaller for “fruits” and “protein,” along with a “dairy” circle on the side. A few thoughts:
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House adopts resolution on US role in Libya

By DONNA CASSATA   1:46 PM 06/03/2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House on Friday adopted a resolution rebuking President Barack Obama for dispatching U.S. military forces against Libya without congressional approval. The vote was 268-145, over White House objections.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Limit the Real Debt

The debt limit covers two very different types of obligations.

By Alex Brill, Colin Hanna  |  National Review Online
Thursday, June 2, 2011

The debate this summer over raising the debt limit promises to be intense, and perhaps divisive, but it also provides an opportunity for meaningful fiscal reform. The unprecedented public attention focused on this relatively arcane economic tool can help return the country to a sustainable, rational path; foster a renewed sense of freedom; and create a new era of prosperity by making government smaller, less intrusive, and less burdensome.  Read more:

Renewed Patriot Act treads on our liberty


Last Modified: Jun 2, 2011 02:13AM

Just before midnight last Thursday, a White House autopen signed legislation extending controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that were scheduled to expire the next day. President Obama authorized the use of a machine to produce a facsimile of his signature because he was traveling in Europe. But it was oddly appropriate, given the facsimile of congressional debate that preceded the bill’s passage.

Read more:

Lawsuit Challenges Georgia Immigration Law


A coalition of civil- and immigrant-rights groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging an Arizona-style immigration law signed by Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal last month.

Read more:



Thursday, June 02, 2011

MTA administrator disavows curbs on photography

Transit agency chief agrees with ACLU on public’s right to take pictures

By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

8:56 PM EDT, June 1, 2011

Two photographers who were detained by Maryland Transit Administration police this year and told they were forbidden to take pictures of MTA facilities expressed relief Wednesday after the head of the agency flatly repudiated the officers’ actions.

Read more:,0,2129369.story


Florida Drug-Testing Law Challenged

MIAMI—The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to halt Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order mandating drug testing for state employees regardless of suspicion in what the organization called an extreme overreach of Mr. Scott’s powers.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Court: No suit against Ashcroft
By: Jennifer Epstein
May 31, 2011 10:58 AM EDT

Reversing a lower court decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that former Attorney General John Ashcroft cannot be sued in connection with the arrest of an American Muslim who was suspected to have played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Read more:

Top Court Rules for Former Attorney General


WASHINGTON—A unanimous Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit alleging former Attorney General John Ashcroft abused his power to lock up terrorism suspects after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Read more:

Health Law Gets Mixed Reception in Court


CINCINNATI—The Obama administration’s legal defense of its health-care overhaul received a mixed reception from a federal appeals court here on Wednesday, as judges grappled with the constitutionality of the law’s requirement that individuals carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

Read more:

Monday, May 30, 2011GOP govs move on health exchangesBy: Sarah Kliff
May 29, 2011 05:31 PM EDT
1. A small but growing number of prominent, Republican governors — including Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour — are taking the lead to shape a key component of the health care overhaul their party fought so hard to kill.Read more: Has Obama Breached His Constitutional Power in Libya?By David Paul Kuhn
In late September 1983, one month before the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Reagan administration continued to insist that the War Powers Act did not apply to the U.S. military presence in Lebanon.Read more :
Saturday, May 28, 2011

No recess appointment for CFPB head
By: Rep. Spencer Bachus
May 27, 2011 04:44 AM EDT

Because the Dodd-Frank Act places so much authority — with so little accountability — in the hands of the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the law requires that this administrator be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Yet there are now rumblings the president may circumvent the Senate’s advice and consent — and ignore the law he signed — by filling the bureau’s directorship through a recess appointment.

Read more:

Is autopen constitutional?
By: Jonathan Allen
May 27, 2011 11:24 AM EDT

A conservative Georgia congressman is questioning whether President Barack Obama had the constitutional authority to use a mechanical autopen to sign an extension of the Patriot Act into law last night.

Read more:

Illegal War? Congress Doesn’t Care

by Gene Healy

This article appeared in The Washington Examiner on May 24, 2011.

Remember when President Obama assured us his Libyan adventure would be over in “days, not weeks”? To employ a Clinton-era euphemism, “That statement is no longer operative.” (Translation: I lied.)

Read more:

May 26, 2011, 4:05 PM ET

Judicial Lineups All Set in All Four Health-Care Challenges

By Ashby Jones

We may be going out on a limb by saying this, but it seems that by the time the challenge to the constitutionality of the health-care law reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, they’ll have a variety of different takes from the courts of appeals below.
Read more:


May 26, 2011

Patriot Act fits tea party standards

By Rep. Steve King & Nathan A. Sales

Since bursting o0nto the political scene in 2009. The tea party movement has sparked a renewed appreciation for the Constitution’s restraints on the powers of the federal government.  Washington’s authority is not boundless. Rather, our Constitution establishes a strong, but limited, national government.
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Attack on NLRB is attack on oversight

By: Rep. Rob Andrews and Rep. George Miller
May 26, 2011 04:42 AM EDT

With millions of Americans still out of work and nearly six months into the new Congress and no jobs bill, Republicans are focusing on a partisan witch hunt against the National Labor Relations Board.

Read more:



Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Hancock elected President of Congress, May, 24, 1775
By: Andrew Glass
May 24, 2011 04:29 AM EDT
On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, unanimously elected John Hancock of Massachusetts as president. That is why Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Bolton: SCOTUS shows need for ‘new Reagan’
By: Juana Summers
May 24, 2011 07:48 AM EDT









John Bolton is sounding the alarm on Monday’s Supreme Court decision that resulted in one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history.













Boehner finds litigation suits him
By: Richard E. Cohen
May 23, 2011 04:48 AM EDT
For much of his political career, House Speaker John Boehner has railed against judicial over-reach and the harmful effects of excessive litigating.


















Supreme Court’s Scary Power Grab


By Debra J. Saunders




The U.S. Supreme Court effectively ordered California on Monday to release 33,000 inmates over two years from an in-state prison population that numbers about 143,000.


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Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Facts of Lunch: Federal School Regulations Aren’t The Answer
Posted By Ericka Andersen On May 21, 2011 @ 2:01 pm In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments
There is nothing wrong with fighting childhood obesity but fighting it at the federal level with ineffective methods that could cost each school district over $100,000 in budget increases isn’t going to cut it.
Read more
Chaotic Security Oversight Costs Taxpayers Money
Posted By Jessica Zuckerman On May 20, 2011 @ 4:30 pm In Protect America | No Comments
According to a recent
AP story [1], the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “answered 11,580 letters, gave 2,058 briefings, and sent 232 witnesses to 166 hearings” in 2009.
Read more:
Obama backs Libya resolution
By: John Bresnahan and Jonathan Allen
May 20, 2011 09:58 PM EDT
Seeking to quell congressional opposition to U.S. involvement in the Libya campaign, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner on Friday that he backs a draft Senate resolution authorizing American participation in the NATO-led effort to oust Muammar Qadhafi.
Read more:
May 18, 2011
S.F. to vote on circumcision ban
By: Associated Press
May 18, 2011 08:16 PM EDT
SAN FRANCISCO — A proposal to ban the circumcision of male children in San Francisco has been cleared to appear on the November ballot, setting the stage for the nation’s first public vote on what has long been considered a private family matter.
Read more:
Feds amp argument for mandate
By: Jennifer Haberkorn
May 18, 2011 04:25 PM EDT
The Obama administration argues that the states suing over the constitutionality of the health care reform law would risk leaving uninsured Americans “on the street after a car accident” without the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Naval Academy puts tradition ahead of Constitution

By forcing mealtime prayer on midshipmen, Naval Academy is elevating its own traditions over the Constitution’s protections

By Talbot Manvel
4:21 p.m. EDT, May 16, 2011
As an adjunct instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, I take the oath at the beginning of each academic year to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, as I did at the beginning of my naval career at the academy. Yet the Naval Academy is defying the Constitution — specifically the First Amendment. It reads in part:
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
SCOTUS needs an ethics code
By: Herman Schwartz
May 13, 2011 04:59 AM EDT
Supreme Court justices are the closest thing we have to absolute monarchs. They have immense power over our lives, are accountable to no one for their decisions and can stay in office for life.
RSC sets conditions for debt vote
By: Jonathan Allen
May 11, 2011 04:33 PM EDT
The conservative Republican Study Committee is circulating a letter that calls on House GOP leaders to set the conditions of support for a debt-limit increase on “bold solutions for reducing spending” both now and in the future.
Paul: ‘Right to health care’ is slavery
By: Kate Nocera
May 11, 2011 03:30 PM EDT
A hearing of the Senate HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging looked at emergency room use and took an odd turn Wednesday when Sen. Rand Paul compared the “right to health care” to slavery.
State immigration laws may never be constitutional
By JOSH LOFTIN, Associated Press Josh Loftin, Associated Press Fri May 13, 2:12 pm ET
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah legislators passed an immigration law that they were confident wouldn’t end up the same way Arizona’s version did last year: tangled up in the courts.
Ex-Ensign aide key to case
By JOHN BRESNAHAN & MANU RAJU | 5/15/11 7:39 PM EDT Updated: 5/16/11 7:17 AM EDT
If former Sen. John Ensign ever sees the inside of a courtroom as a result of the sex scandal that destroyed his political career, the key witness against him may be his once-loyal chief of staff, John Lopez.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home
By Dan Carden, (317) 637-9078 | Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:36 pm
INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.
Domestic Military Detention Isn’t Necessary
by David Rittgers
David Rittgers, a legal policy analyst at the Cato Institute, served three tours in Afghanistan as a Special Forces officer and continues to serve as a reserve judge advocate. The views expressed in this op-ed are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the Defense Department or Army.
Added to on May 9, 2011
This article appeared on The Huffington Post on May 9, 2011.
President Obama’s executive order continuing the custody of detainees at Guantanamo Bay signals that the Bush foreign policy doctrine, long assaulted by civil libertarians, is alive and well in this supposedly reformist administration.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Health-Care Debate Shifts to Appellate Courts

By Ashby Jones

Round One is over. Round Two is about to begin. Round Three will likely decide the battle, for once and for all.
Obama Health Care Law: Challenge Inches Toward Supreme Court
May 9, 2011
Justice Department lawyers are preparing to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s most celebrated legislative achievement. The arguments, to begin Tuesday morning, mark the first time a challenge to the health care law has been heard by a federal appeals court.
‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Israel?’ Supreme Court case raises trove of constitutional questions

By Robert Barnes, Published: May 8

Young Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, an 8-year-old American born in Jerusalem, likes to brag to his older siblings that he is the only one of them born in Israel.
He and his parents would like the U.S. government to agree.
GOP to block labor nominees
By: Scott Wong
May 5, 2011 02:27 PM EDT
A group of 19 Republican senators is vowing to defeat two of President Barack Obama’s nominations for the National Labor Relations Board after the panel sued Boeing, accusing the aerospace giant of retaliating against union workers.
Old problems dog new debt debate
By: David Rogers
May 5, 2011 04:43 AM EDT
One old face and another old problem were back on the Senate’s calendar Wednesday, twin reminders of how stubborn budget deficits can be even when you think you have a fix.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
The Deciders: Facebook, Google, and the Future of Privacy and Free Speech
Jeffrey Rosen, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies
The Brookings Institution
May 02, 2011 —
The Future of the Constitution Series
It was 2025 when Facebook decided to post live feeds from public and private surveillance cameras, so they could be searched online. The decision hardly came as a surprise. Ever since Facebook passed the 500 million-member mark in 2010, it found increasing consumer demand for applications that allowed users to access surveillance cameras with publicly accessible IP addresses. (Initially, live feeds to cameras on Mexican beaches were especially popular.) But in the mid-2020s, popular demand for live surveillance camera feeds were joined by demands from the U.S. government that an open circuit television network would be invaluable in tracking potential terrorists. As a result, Facebook decided to link the public and private camera networks, post them live online, and store the video feeds without restrictions on distributed servers in the digital cloud.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Why Rebuffing the Legal Attack on the National Day of Prayer Matters…Especially at a Time Like This
By Kevin Theriot
The timing of the National Day of Prayer with the events of this week couldn’t be more appropriate if one would have planned it that way. And recent court decisions rebuffing the ability
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Constitutional Questions
By Ron Paul
Published 05/03/11
Last week the media focused on President Obama’s basic eligibility to be president while ignoring the unconstitutional manner in which he governs. For example, his recent use of a signing statement to affect a line-item veto on a bill he signed into law as president. The recent continuing resolution to fund the government through September had an amendment that defunded four of his czar positions as a cost-cutting measure. These “czars” are administration appointees who exercise influence on policy matters, yet because they are classified as “advisors” and not cabinet officials, the President is able to avoid the Senate confirmation process.
The Biggest Legalized Theft of Middle Class American Wealth
By Rachel Alexander
Almost no one is talking about the most serious financial catastrophe taking place in the U.S. today. Instead everyone is focused on reigning in Congressional spending, particularly in areas like entitlements and Obamacare. But there is a part of government that flies under the radar, unaccountably increasing our debt to far more dangerous levels. It is considered the financial part of the Executive Branch, but there are very few checks and balances coming from the other two branches of government. It is the powerful Department of the Treasury and the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve. Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, and Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, are two of the individuals most responsible for this financial meltdown, although it began prior to their terms in office. The Fed and the Treasury are responsible for engineering financial institution bailouts that cost taxpayers $12.1 trillion through February 2009. This massively dwarfs the $3.83 trillion spent on Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, defense, and other government programs.

Overcriminalization and the Constitution

Published on April 13, 2011 by Brian Walsh and Benjamin Keane Legal Memorandum #64
Abstract: Although the Constitution’s great structural principles of federalism and separation of powers are designed to guard against the abuse of governmental power and secure individual liberty, Congress routinely flouts these constitutional safeguards by enacting vague, overly broad, and other improper and unconstitutional criminal laws. Thomas Jefferson warned that “concentrating” or combining the powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government “in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government.” Yet overcriminalization invites and effectively requires prosecutors, judges, and even unelected federal bureaucrats to engage in lawmaking to determine the scope and severity of criminal punishment. In order to preserve the rights of innocent Americans, the unbridled and unprincipled growth of federal criminal statutes and regulations must be contained.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
The Obama Presidency in the Constitutional Order
April 28, 2011
09:30 AM — 11:30 AM
This timely look at the Obama presidency establishes a constitutional yardstick of interest to scholars of the presidency, constitutional thought, and American political thought.
The Case Against President Obama’s Health Care Reform: A Primer for Nonlawyers
by Robert A. Levy
Multiple challenges to President Obama’s health care reform are percolating through the federal courts. Soon the Supreme Court will be asked to weigh in on perhaps the most important question of the post–New Deal era: Are there any remaining limits on the breadth and scope of federal power?
Second Amendment Showdown in the 9th Circuit Cloakroom
Less than three months ago, the Center for Individual Freedom took aim at the latest misfire from über liberal Judge Stephen Reinhardt and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit — namely, 69 pages of anti-gun propaganda masquerading as a constitutional decision in which the oft-overturned judge opined that “[t]he historical record makes it … plain that the [Second] Amendment was not adopted in order to afford rights to individuals with respect to private gun ownership or possession.”  To read more about “Judge Reinhardt’s Ricochet,” click here.  Now, even Reinhardt’s own judicial colleagues on the West Coast are unwilling to remain silent in the face of his tendency to substitute personal political prejudices for the rule of law.
Panel: U.S. facing threats to const. freedoms
Posted on Apr 25, 2011 | by Debbie Thurman
LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)–The United States is facing an incursion of cultural issues/forces that can be viewed as domestic or foreign enemies of America’s constitutional freedoms and Judeo-Christian ethos, according to speakers at “The Awakening 2011″ conference.
A Thorny, Porny Issue
The Internet Has Made Pornography All Too Accessible

By Jonah Goldberg
National Review Online
Friday, April 29, 2011
Of course you’ve heard some version of this tale before. Winston Churchill says to a woman at a party, “Madam, would you sleep with me for 5 million pounds?”
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
April 20th, 2011 | Posted in Voice of the People by Ken Ross
4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Michigan State Police are stepping on this 4th Amendment – but does anyone care? Where is the outrage by American citizens at this blatant violation of our Constitution’s 4th Amendment? What is everyone doing?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Study: Enviro-light bulbs can cause cancer
Kerry Picket
Published on April 25, 2011
According to a recently released German study, the supposed “environmentally friendly” compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s), are reported to have “cancer causing chemicals” that are sent out when the light is switched on, reports London’s Daily Telegraph:
States vs. data collectors at the Supreme Court

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — When a doctor writes a prescription and the patient has a pharmacist fill it, the transaction generates information companies have increasingly sought out, compiled and sold to drug manufacturers.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Supreme Court confronts whether Nev. conflict-of-interest law violates free speech
By Robert Barnes, Sunday, April 24, 6:05 PM
SPARKS, NEV. — Reprimanded by his state’s ethics commission for a conflict of interest on a development vote, Sparks City Council member Michael A. Carrigan arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court with an unusual status.
Lawmakers Seek to Unclog Road to Confirmation
Published: April 24, 2011
WASHINGTON — Hoping to unclog the Senate and spare scores of presidential appointees from what is often a grueling confirmation process, leading lawmakers in both parties are moving to cut the number of administration posts that are subject to Senate approval
Is sending juveniles to prison for life constitutional? Judge hears arguments
3:48 PM, Apr. 21, 2011
A federal judge could decide within weeks whether Michigan’s practice of sending juveniles to life in prison without parole is unconstitutional.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Birther bill Arizona legislation raised constitutional issues
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer had the good sense to veto a bill that was intended as political leverage against President Obama.
The Libyan Intervention Is Not Wholly Legal
by David Kopel
David Kopel is an Associate Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute, and an adjunct Professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University.
Added to on April 18, 2011
This article appeared on The Daily Caller on April 18, 2011.
Is President Obama’s war against the Libyan government legal? It is arguably compliant with modern international law, because it has been authorized by the United Nations Security Council. Nothing in international law, however, can change the United States Constitution’s procedures for when the United States can go to war — which require the consent of Congress
PCI Files Brief In Supreme Court Climate-Change Case
NU Online News Service, April 20, 3:26 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON—Insurance-industry lawyers are calling a global-warming lawsuit based on nuisance laws “the most significant case for the property and casualty insurance industry before the U.S. Supreme Court this term.”
Taxpayer Rights Matter in School Choice Debate
by Adam B. Schaeffer
Adam Schaeffer is an education policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and author of “They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools.”
Added to on April 18, 2011
This article appeared in The Richmond Times-Dispatch on April 17, 2011.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in ACSTO v. Winn has been acclaimed, or denounced, as a victory for private school choice and taxpayer rights.
In upholding an Arizona choice program based on tax credits, the court held that money spent and claimed as a credit against one’s taxes is private money, not government spending. Other taxpayers aren’t harmed by the choice of those claiming credits because the government isn’t spending collective tax revenue. In other words, the taxpayer, not the state, is presumed to own the fruits of his own labor.
Supreme Court to hear major climate change case
12:01 AM 04/19/2011
The last time the Supreme Court heard a major case about climate change, the judges split along ideological lines and ultimately favored the argument that the Clean Air Act gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate carbon emissions. The decision in Massachusetts v EPA set the stage for the current battle on Capitol Hill that now sees Republicans fighting to rein in the EPA’s extended power to regulate.
Monday, April 18, 2011
George Washington’s Indispensable Wisdom for Today
April is an historic month for the office of President of the United States . On April 6, 1789, Congress met for the first time and proclaimed George Washington had been elected President unanimously. On April 30th , he was inaugurated. During the next eight years he was to gain priceless insights concerning the government of a free people. By the time he left office in 1797, he had become a treasure of political wisdom.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Another Obama Constitutional Grab in the Works
By Brad O’Leary
President Barack Obama, the confiscator-in-chief of your constitutional rights is at it again. As we’ve come to expect, when President Obama tramples on the Constitution it’s usually under the guise of some noble cause. He embraced new rules for broadcasters designed to silence conservative talk show hosts under the guise of localism and diversity. This year, he’s pushing for so-called “common-sense” legislation that ultimately deprives citizens of their Second Amendment rights.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Freedom of expression is a constitutional myth
Some actions cannot be defended under the First Amendment.
Published 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As a soldier, I must say I cheered President Barack Obama‘s “dithering” on Libya. His indecisiveness on the reported Libyan atrocities was keeping our overextended troops (already experiencing unprecedented rates of suicide and PTSD) out of harm’s way. Then he had to say it, Gadhafi’s got to go. He started the no-fly zone. Damn!
U.S. citizens do not lose constitutional protection by joining military
By ROSANNE POTTER American Civil Liberties Union
When current events raise issues covered by our Bill of Rights, members of the Florida Keys Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have been asked to write guest opinions about the constitutional sources of our civil rights. For example, Bill McCarthy’s guest column on the separation of church and state — part of the First Amendment — appeared in The (Key West) Citizen on Feb. 19.
Legal scholar David Mayer explains why liberty of contract is about more than economics
Brian Doherty | February 9, 2011
For a period of exactly 40 years, from 1897 to 1937, the Supreme Court protected liberty of contract as a fundamental right, one aspect of the basic right to liberty safe guarded under the Constitution’s due process clauses, which prohibit government -  the federal government, under the Fifth Amendment and states, under the Fourteenth Amendment _ from depriving persons of ‘life, liberty, or property without due process of law”… (but) following its ‘New Deal Revolution’ of 1937, it ceased protecting liberty of contract.”  Read more:
Did the First Amendment Create a Christian Nation?
By Warren Throckmorton
For as long as I can recall, there has been a movement defending the notion of America as a Christian nation. Of late, one version of that idea has been expressed by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. His belief is that the First Amendment to the Constitution protects the free expression of Christians only. Adherents of non-Christian religions, on the other hand, may be tolerated but do not enjoy Constitutional protections for the free exercise of their faith. Fischer writes:  Read more:
April 6, 2011
Gun Owners Have a Right to Privacy
If you own a gun in Illinois, take precautions. The state attorney general, Lisa Madigan, wants to release the names of guns owners in response to an Associated Press request. Publication of that list would tell the criminal class where the guns are, which could be useful to two different sorts of lawbreakers: gun thieves who want to know where the guns are and burglars who want to know where they are not.
April 3, 2011
Congress can compel action due to public necessity
By Laurence Tribe
April 3, 2011
THERE’S PLENTY to be said as a policy matter both for and against the Affordable Care Act, but it’s beyond reasonable debate that it complies fully with the Constitution. Few doubt that most of its provisions, including those requiring health insurers to cover people regardless of preexisting conditions or current illness, fall squarely within Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. The one provision whose constitutionality is questioned is the individual mandate, the requirement that everyone who can afford to do so buy health insurance unless otherwise covered by an employer or by another federal program like Medicare.  Read more:
Congress has no power to mandate purchases
By Randy E. Barnett
April 3, 2011
IMAGINE THAT I tell you 100 things that you may not do tomorrow. For example, you may not run on a treadmill, eat broccoli, buy a car, and 97 other things. While your liberty would certainly be restricted, there would still be an infinite number of things you may still do. Now suppose I tell you 100 things that you must do tomorrow. You must run on a treadmill, eat broccoli, buy a car, and 97 other things. These 100 mandates could potentially occupy all your time and consume all your money. This helps illustrate why economic mandates are so much more onerous than either economic regulations or prohibitions, and why so dangerous an unenumerated congressional power should not be implied.  Read more:
In St. Louis, a protest sign meets government arrogance
By  George F. Will, Friday, April 1, 8:26 PM
A dialectic of judicial deference and political arrogance is on display in St. Louis. When excessively deferential courts permit governmental arrogance, additional arrogance results as government explores the limits of judicial deference. As Jim Roos knows.  Read more:
Thursday, March 31, 2011
There is ample recent evidence that the president has some difficulty with entrances and exits.  The linked video is a humorous example; the building conundrum in Libya is not. Read more:
In his speech last night defending U.S. participation in Libya’s civil war, President Obama repeated the justifications for bombing Libya that I attacked in a post written for the National Interest last Friday, “Three Phony Reasons to Bomb Libya.”  Read more:
Why the Health Care Law Has Sparked a National Debate Over First Principles
Published on March 14, 2011 by Robert Moffit, Ph.D.
Abstract: In a democratic republic, the people are sovereign and normally anticipate respect for their views from their elected representatives, but over the past two years, Americans have come to realize that Washington’s political class has become distant from them. Nowhere has that mental and emotional distance been clearer than in the national debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Even though most Americans did not support the health care bill, many Members of Congress simply ignored the majority of their fellow Americans. It is time to repair to first principles. The next phase of the intense and bitter battle over the health care law, complementing new congressional efforts to repeal, block, or defund it, will take place in state capitals. Regardless of what happens in Washington, state officials can seize the high ground in health care policy, fashion solutions to match their specific problems, and change the facts on the ground for Congress and the White House.  Read more:
Monday, March 28, 2011
The Two Coming American Revolutions.
By Silver Shield, on March 24th, 2011
The Enemy of my Enemy is NOT my Friend.
In the late 1700′s there were two historic revolutions, the American and the French Revolutions. The American Revolution was very much an intellectual revolution as much as it was a military revolution. In the years before the first shot was fired, American Patriots laid the intellectual foundation for the American Revolution. They worked on what America should be and not so much of what they were against. The original Sons of Liberty mounted an intellectual assault on the Empire that the sun never set on. By the time the first shot was fired, our founding fathers had spent years carefully crafting a political and economic system that would ready for when they had control of their destiny.  This system sought to decentralize power so that no Elite could seize power. They also created a Free Market economic system that would ensure the prosperity of future generations. This eventually led to the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Read more:
Another Unconstitutional War!?
Yet another president puts American fighting men and women in harm’s way without the approval of Congress in support of a dysfunctional foreign policy.
by Dave Narby
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Recently president Obama “authorized” a “limited military action” in Libya. He did this without approval from Congress, with no debate by Congress In fact, we are not even sure he bothered to inform Congress. He announced that he was sending American fighting men and women into harm’s way via an audio recording released on Saturday from Brazil, where he is vacationing.  Read more:
Obama wrong on Libya
The founding fathers of our country would be shocked to see that a President of the United States could launch an attack half a world away without a formal declaration of war by Congress, with barely any discussion of it by the House or by the Senate.
by Russell W. Dickson
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The founding fathers of our country would be shocked to see that a President of the United States could launch an attack half a world away without a formal declaration of war by Congress, with barely any discussion of it by the House or by the Senate.  Read more:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The History of Declaring War and the Politics of it Surrounding Libya

by Chad Pergram | March 21, 2011
One issue and two words comprised the debate at Philadelphia’s Constitutional Convention on August 17, 1787.  Read more.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya action
A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.
If the Founding Fathers could see Obama now
The President’s reluctance to act over Libya signals a new worrying direction for the United States, says Janet Daley.
By Janet Daley 9:00PM GMT 19 Mar 2011
So the West got it together in the end. By the time you read this, it may be clearer whether that happened at five minutes to midnight or five minutes past. If the latter – if it proves to be too late for the people of Libya – then the blame will lie almost entirely at the door of the Obama administration. After weeks of dithering and mixed signals (remember that jibe from the US Defence Secretary about David Cameron’s “loose talk”?) punctuated by periods of impenetrable silence, the White House had a sudden epiphany and declared itself in favour of a UN resolution allowing much more than a no-fly zone.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
For First Amendment purposes, it doesn’t matter.
Jacob Sullum from the April 2011 issue
Because WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has published confidential Pentagon and State Department documents on his group’s website, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says, he is properly viewed as “a high-tech terrorist.” Vice President Joseph Biden agrees.   Read more:
The Framers Never Imagined a New Hampshire Primary
By Michael Barone
The weakest part of our political system is the presidential nomination process. And it’s not coincidental that it’s the part of the federal system that finds least guidance in the Constitution. Read more:
For Muslims, introspection, not outrage, is best response to the King hearings
By Faheem Younus
2:54 p.m. EDT, March 14, 2011
Who would have believed that, within a decade, a congressional hearing would turn the tables on Muslim leaders in America?
Obama, DOMA, and Constitutional Responsibility
By Matthew Franck
Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign on February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, the hometown and burial place of Abraham Lincoln. In 2009, he chose to be sworn in with his hand on the same Bible used at Lincoln’s first inauguration. He returned to Springfield a few weeks later to speak to the Abraham Lincoln Association on the 200th anniversary of the Great Emancipator’s birth. Plainly the 44th president feels a strong affinity with the 16th. But how does President Obama measure up to his idol?  Read more:
Why Obamacare Mandate Penalty Can’t Be a Tax
by David Kopel
David B. Kopel, a Cato Institute policy analyst, joined Washington Legal Foundation’s amicus brief in Virginia v. Sebelius.
Added to on March 8, 2011
his article appeared in The Orange County Register on March 6, 2011.
Within a year or two, the Supreme Court probably will decide whether the new federal mandate to purchase a particular type of health insurance is authorized by Congress’ constitutional power to “regulate Commerce … among the several States.” If the Obama administration cannot convince the court that the commerce clause allows Congress to force people to engage in commerce, the administration has a backup argument: The mandate is separately authorized by Congress’ constitutional power to tax.  Read more:
Friday, March 04, 2011
Judge Vinson delivers another blow to ObamaCare
By Jennifer Rubin
When U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson issued his ruling finding ObamaCare unconstitutional, liberals seemed to develop a reading comprehension problem. He plainly stated that the law is unconstitutional, but defenders of ObamaCare seemed not to grasp that the judge meant the government was obliged to follow that edict. Yesterday, Vinson blasted the administration, as the Wall Street Journal reports:   read more


Issa Probes Park Service Science Used to Shut Down Oyster Farm

by Audrey Hudson

Posted 11/01/2011 ET


A leading congressional Republican is investigating whether the National Park Service (NPS) committed “scientific misconduct” in its effort to shut down a century-old oyster farm over claims that it threatens the local seal population.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is demanding that the Interior Department turn over certain documents to his panel to determine whether faulty information will close the Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), which operates in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore.

Read more: