Constitution

With Justice Alito

Featured image In his new Conversation, Bill Kristol sits down with Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito (video below). We proudly published Justice Alito’s review of Michael Paulsen’s new book on the Constitution here this past April. It is good to have the opportunity to hear him speak off the bench at length on matters of interest and importance. The video is posted in full and broken into chapters here; the transcript »

Unlocking Lochner

Featured image Don’t miss George Will’s column today, “The 110-Year-Old Case That Still Inspires Supreme Court Debates.” It’s about the infamous case of Lochner v. New York from 1906—the decision that struck down a New York state maximum hour law for bakers that elicited one of the most memorable single sentences of dissent in Supreme Court history, Oliver Wendell Holmes rant that “[t]he Fourteenth Amendment does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s Social »

Cruz Control?

Featured image Of the entire GOP presidential field, I think the candidate with the best or most substantive grasp of the constitutional defects of the administrative state—the term for our unaccountable “fourth branch” of government that increasingly governs us without our consent—is Ted Cruz. (If Tom Cotton were running for president, he’d get the clear nod on this point, but perhaps some day. . .) At the very least, Cruz knows enough »

Mosby so far [With Comment by John]

Featured image Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby has charged six Baltimore police officers with serious crimes in connection with the death of Freddie Gray on April 19. The New York Times account of the charges is here. The Washington Post enumerates the charges here and takes a look at Ms. Mosby here. The charges quickly followed both Gray’s death and the rioting of the mob in Baltimore. Ms. Mosby’s announcement of the »

Justice Kennedy sends mixed signals during argument on gay marriage

Featured image Today, as I mentioned here, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges in which the issue is whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to be deemed by the state “married” if that’s what they want. Lyle Denniston of Scotusblog filed this report on the argument. The Washington Post’s account is here. The argument confirmed the impression that the decision will be 5-4, with Justice Kennedy casting »

Justice Kennedy and gay rights

Featured image As I begin typing this, the Supreme Court is in the middle of oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the gay marriage case. You can follow the progress of the argument at Scotusblog. Personally, I am not opposed to changing the definition of marriage to encompass same-sex unions. I consider this a low-risk accommodation to the reasonable desires of a large segment of our fellow Americans. But a change of »

Justice Alito on “The Constitution: An Introduction”

Featured image Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions to professional publications, he has emerged as one our foremost scholars of American constitutional law. As of May 5, Professor Paulsen is also the co-author, with his son, Luke Paulsen, of The Constitution: An Introduction. The book’s Web site is online here. United States Supreme Court »

The Obama Administration’s Attack on the Constitution: Part 1, Immigration

Featured image When the history of Barack Obama’s presidency is written, his unrelenting attack on the Constitution will perhaps be the blackest mark against it. Our constitutional system is, in the end, fragile. It can scarcely withstand the repeated assaults, over a period of eight years, of an executive determined to ignore the law. Immigration is one of a number of areas where Barack Obama has trampled the Constitution without even the »

A Modest Proposal For Amendments to the Constitution

Featured image Barack Obama’s scofflaw administration has revealed some ambiguities or omissions in our Constitution–loopholes, if you will–that should be closed via constitutional amendment, to eliminate the possibility that future administrations may also act lawlessly. I have in mind three amendments that should accomplish that purpose. First, President Obama has asserted the power to issue decrees or executive orders that have the force of law. This seems plainly at odds with the »

Is Lindsey Graham a victim of “McCarthyism”?

Featured image He seems to think so. Responding to criticism by opponents of the Loretta Lynch nomination, Sen. Graham complained: Joe McCarthy said, if you don’t agree with me that that guy is a communist, then you’re a communist. I don’t buy that kind of logic. I don’t support the executive order. I don’t know whether McCarthy made the argument Graham ascribes to him, but opponents of the Lynch nomination aren’t using »

Disparate impact’s day in court

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The issue presented is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As I explained here, disparate impact discrimination occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be justified by legitimate interests. »

A day of reckoning for “disparate impact” housing discrimination cases

Featured image Next Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a Texas case in which the issue is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act. The case is Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. “Disparate impact discrimination” occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be »

House Votes to Restore Constitution

Featured image Following up on promises made during last year’s lame duck session, the House voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security, and to prohibit spending to further President Obama’s illegal orders on immigration. The final vote was 236-191. The original DHS appropriations bill is here; the amendments that prohibit unconstitutional spending are here. The two principal amendments would bar DHS and other federal agencies from spending money to carry »

Obamnesty, what to do

Featured image There are as many ways to express disgust with President Obama’s unlawful amnesty as there are talented conservative pundits prepared to write about it. The real question is what, if anything, can be done to negate the amnesty. Impeachment is not the answer. The votes don’t exist to remove Obama from office. Nor should Republicans attempt impeachment. Doing so would probably hurt Republican standing in the run-up to the crucial »

Day of infamy, part 2

Featured image Megyn Kelly played a particularly effective video compiling statements of President Obama against the exercise of executive authority regularizing millions of illegals — precisely what he is about to do. The video is posted at here at Fox News Insider, which introduces it as follows: For years, he has called such action illegal; in fact, “The Kelly File” found 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera. “Today we »

Day of infamy

Featured image FDR famously characterized December 7, 1941, as a date that would live in infamy because of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor that day. By the same token, Barack Obama’s willful attack on the Constitution marks today as a date that will live in infamy because of the president’s willful violation of the limits on his power. (“Infamy” is the word that Peter Wehner attaches to Obama’s forthcoming action.) A certain »

Obama then and now

Featured image As John points out in the adjacent post, Nancy Pelosi now pretends not to know who the irrepressible Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is. Exercising her power as Big Sister, Pelosi has sent Gruber down the memory role. In his own way, Barack Obama raises an even more interesting epistemological issue. Obama? Obama? Who’s Obama? That’s the question that Obama’s previous disquisitions on the constitutional limitations on presidential authority raise in »