Constitution

Forrest McDonald, RIP [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing of one of the great conservative historians of our time, Forrest McDonald, at the age of 89. He taught for many years at the University of Alabama, and was the author of several important revisionist works on American history, including a favorable biography of the great electric utility executive Sam Insull (one of the “economic royalists” that FDR hunted down with mixed success during »

Which Tribe Are You?

Featured image Lawrence Tribe is one of the liberal eminences at Harvard Law School, author of a leading constitutional law casebook (that for many editions failed to include the text of the Constitution, until Ed Meese embarrassed him about that fact back in the 1980s), and a ringleader of the shameless and demagogic mob that derailed Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination back in 1987. But right now Trump and lots of liberals »

The man our founders warned us against

Featured image In the late 1960’s Nicholas Von Hoffman published his portrait of the hippies in San Francisco under the title We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against. Von Hoffman’s title was a precursor to the inane messianism of Obama’s “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” though Von Hoffman’s title made more sense than Obama’s shibboleth. In his assumption of monarchical powers and his accompanying demagogy, Barack Obama »

Carson and the constitution — Andy McCarthy’s take

Featured image Andy McCarthy has weighed in on Ben Carson statement that Islam is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and that therefore he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” Like me, McCarthy disagrees with Charles Krauthammer’s view that Dr. Carson’s statement is inconsistent with the Constitution. Krauthammer’s position is based on the idea that the Constitution isn’t just a legal document, it is a “didactic »

Carson and the constitution

Featured image Ben Carson is under attack from both liberals and conservatives for saying “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation; I absolutely would not agree with that.” Dr. Carson’s comment deserves to be criticized. It is too sweeping. Carson recognized as much. That’s why he later said that what he disagrees with is voting for candidates (of any religion) who want a theocracy. But »

CRB: Two cheers for originalism

Featured image Today we conclude our preview of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with a bonus edition featuring a book by a friend. Subscribe to the CRB here for the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free. Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions »

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. »