Constitution

Presidential power and its possible abuse in the Trump-Comey context

Featured image David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, today defended the right of President Trump to direct the FBI investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible wrongdoing by Michael Flynn. McIntosh, a co-founder of the Federalist Society, made the defense at the Federalist Society’s “Executive Branch Review Conference.” He said: President Trump acted appropriately if he gave guidance to Director Comey on an investigation. It is »

It’s Official: On Trump’s Travel Order, the Left Is Bonkers

Featured image We wrote here about an ACLU lawyer arguing one of the Trump travel moratorium cases in the 4th Circuit who said that the president’s order “could be constitutional” if only it had been issued by the rightful president, Hillary Clinton. As a matter of constitutional law–or law, period–that is idiotic. But it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue by an incompetent lawyer. Today, arguing in the 9th Circuit Court »

Ignorance + Malice = James Clapper

Featured image Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was one of Barack Obama’s worst appointees, which is no small distinction. Today Clapper appeared on CNN’s State of the Union. He had no new information of any sort, but he and host Jake Tapper pushed the Democratic Party line relentlessly. No surprise there. But check out this exchange: TAPPER: Let’s take a wider view of this for one second, and then I »

Repealing Obamacare: It’s Unconstitutional!

Featured image More evidence that for Democrats, the “Constitution” means whatever they are in favor of at the moment: New York’s Attorney General says it is unconstitutional to repeal Obamacare: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a longtime critic of his fellow Empire State resident [Donald Trump], tells Erin Burnett he’s planning a lawsuit should the legislation be signed into law. “If they pass the bill in the form the House passed »

A Deep Dive Into the Founding

Featured image It was 20 years ago that Thomas G. West, nowadays the Potter professor of politics at Hillsdale College, published Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America. The book was a tour de force against the left’s relentless attacks on and distortions of the American founding, and it is an indispensable reference book for every one of the left’s clichés about the supposed defects, if »

New Special VIP Bonus Announcement

Featured image A lot of people asked months ago if any of my Berkeley classes would be live-streamed or video recorded, and alas the answer is no. First, I was assigned a lecture hall that doesn’t have video recording capability. But second, Berkeley’s entire online catalogue of classes has been taken down because it isn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it would be too expensive to make the online »

More on the Left’s Judicial Coup

Featured image Two federal judges, one in Hawaii and one in Maryland, have enjoined execution of President Trump’s travel order. These court orders are obviously illegal and unconstitutional. Under the Constitution and federal law, the president has the power to suspend immigration from any and all countries if he deems it in the best interest of the United States. The idea that Trump’s travel order “discriminates” against foreign Muslims is ridiculous. The »

Understanding the administrative state

Featured image For the 20-plus years my friend Bruce Sanborn served as chairman of the Claremont Institute, we attended the annual meeting of the America Political Science Association over Labor Day weekend. At the APSA convention we attended the panels sponsored by the Claremont Institute. It was our idea of a good time. In those panels we heard a lot about “the administrative state,” frequently from Professor John Marini. Professor Marini had »

A great constitutional debate explained (by Steve)

Featured image Most conservatives will be delighted if Neil Gorsuch, as a Justice of the Supreme Court, views the Constitution and his role in interpreting it the way Justice Antonin Scalia did. But George Will hopes that Gorsuch will improve on Scalia. How? By interpreting the Constitution as a charter of government for a nation dedicated to the proposition that all persons are created equal in their possession of natural rights. Scalia »

Natural and “Unnatural” Citizens

Featured image Everyone is skipping right past the deeper meaning of the little detail that the New York “devicer” (I guess “bomber” is now a trigger warning term?—heh) Ahmad Khan Rahami is a “naturalized” American citizen, having immigrated from Afghanistan some years ago. Stop right there, and let’s think for a moment about what the term “naturalized citizen” ought to mean, for in the case of Mr. Rahami, his “naturalization” process clearly »

The Constitution: What Is It Good For?

Featured image I got to spend the week before last with the summer honors students of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and if you’re interested in helping counter the rot of higher education, ISI should be high up on your charitable donation list. My lecture topic was devoted to explaining why the idea of a “living Constitution” is so crucial to modern liberalism and so dangerous to our liberties and free institutions. »

Randy Barnett on the Declaration

Featured image Randy Barnett, currently professor of law at Georgetown Law School, is one of the most important constitutionalists today. His latest book, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People, will have a long shelf life as an important treatise on constitutional originalism. Barnett is all the more interesting for having come to his interest in constitutional law indirectly. As he explained in a previous book (Restoring »

Will Speaker Ryan defend the power of the purse?

Featured image Earlier this month, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued a statement praising a determination by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that paves the way for completing the privatization of the Internet’s domain name system. Such privatization seems like a highly questionable move as a matter of policy, but the overriding issue here isn’t internet governance; rather it is Article I of the Constitution. Here’s why. NTIA, located within »

The Next President Must Be a White Male Republican

Featured image That is Glenn Reynolds’s modest proposal. And he is right. The supposed watchdogs of the press become toothless lap pets when the president is a Democrat, let alone a black Democrat. Those of us who believe in the Constitution can wish for only thing: a white male Republican, like Donald Trump. Only the victory of such a candidate will cause the liberal commentariat (and maybe the judiciary) to re-awaken to »

The Endless Enigma of Donald Trump

Featured image Trump is likely to be puzzling us long after he finishes his second term in the White House (heh). Is he a would-be fascist, a mere authoritarian, a savvy “deal-maker,” or just an imperious narcissist? Or something else? Paul has already drawn our attention to Robert Kagan’s Washington Post article making the case that Trump is essentially a fascist. Fascism is a word that is hard to define with agreeable »

James Madison’s Ultimate Test

Featured image Given the lack of confidence in either of the two major party presidential presumptive nominees, earlier today I tweeted out the following thought-provoker: What prompted this was a passage from another old unpublished lecture of Harry V. Jaffa from 1996 that I happen to have found during recent book research: [Madison] believed that the statesmanship of the wise and the good that went into the architecture of the Constitution would »

Federal Court Holds Obama’s Insurance Subsidy Payments Unconstitutional

Featured image Today federal judge Rosemary Collyer issued a decision in House of Representatives v. Burwell, the case brought by the House to challenge the legality of the Obama administration’s payments of Obamacare subsidies to insurers, despite the fact that Congress refused to appropriate money for such subsidies. Judge Collyer ruled the administration’s payments unconstitutional. I find her reasoning highly persuasive. Here is the decision in full: HofR Challenge to ACA DCt »