Constitution

Leading Dem insider: Save America; scrap the Constitution

Featured image Harry Reid is a determined radical, intent on limiting freedom, overturning American traditions, and remaking our institutions in the name of crushing the opposition and empowering the left. His attempt to amend the First Amendment to curb free speech is a natural extension of his obliteration of longstanding Senate rules that promote deliberation and minority input. But Reid seems almost moderate by left-wing Democrat standards. Take Donna Brazile, vice-chair of »

Ordinary politics as corruption: the left’s new totalitarian hobby horse

Featured image Whatever one thinks about the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell on fraud and extortion charges, there is little doubt that the legal theories that produced the conviction blur the distinction between criminal corruption and ordinary politics. Indeed, it is my view that the left sees no such distinction. To the extent that ordinary politics stands in the way of its agenda, the left perceives ordinary politics as, at »

Theory of the coup

Featured image Ross Douthat’s New York Times column this past Sunday eloquently warned against Obama’s threatened coup with respect to immigration law. Douthat characterized the action threatened by anonymous White House leakers as “executive fiat.” Douthat rightly condemned the threatened action as “lawless, reckless, a leap into the antidemocratic dark.” University of Chicago Law School Professor Eric Posner comes to Obama’s defense and responds to Douthat in the New Republic column “Obama »

Suing the President

Featured image Liberals are in typical scoffing and mocking mode about the House pursuing a lawsuit against President Obama for failure to execute the laws faithfully, another example of the situational ethics of liberalism as well as their contempt for the separation of powers and the Constitution itself.  Liberals never thought it odd when members of Congress attempted to sue both Presidents Bush (unsuccessfully) for violating the War Powers Act, or President »

A book for all seasons

Featured image Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the book of the season. Published by Harvard University Press, it is a surprise best-seller. At the time of its publication earlier this year it neatly fit Obama’s theme of the moment on income inequality. Readers seem to have abandoned the book at page 26, as Obama seems to have abandoned the theme of income inequality. As the title of his book »

Dionne Again, Naturally

Featured image It’s been a few months since I’ve beaten up on an E.J. Dionne column, but he’s done it again today with his column entitled “It’s Time for Progressives to Reclaim the Constitution.”  Yeah, go ahead and sit down and break out your smelling salts, since the exact opposite is the case: Progressives have been running roughshod over the Constitution for more than a century now.  In addition, Dionne takes after »

SCOTUS Smacks Obama Again, But . . .

Featured image Today’s the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the Obama Administration’s abuse of the recess appointment power in NLRB v. Canning.  Unanimous!  And not for the first time.  Think back to Sackett v. EPA two years ago, where a similarly unanimous Court ruled that the EPA had grossly exceeded its legal authority, or the Utility Air Regulatory Group decision on Monday, which, although 5 – 4, held that the EPA can’t »

Rand Paul: To the left of Eric Holder on felon enfranchisement

Featured image I wrote here about Rand Paul’s unconstitutional plan to propose federal legislation that would enfranchise some felons. Now, Sen. Paul has addressed the constitutional issue posed by such legislation. He argues, in essence, that states decide who votes in state elections, but the federal government has the final say on who can vote in federal elections. Roger Clegg makes short work of Paul’s contention: The U.S. Constitution itself explicitly gives »

Rand Paul — faux constitutional conservative

Featured image Rand Paul is fond of invoking the Constitution to support his policy preferences. But is he really a “constitutional conservative”? Roger Clegg raises the question in light of Paul’s announced plan to introduce federal legislation to enfranchise some felons. This plan probably reflects Paul’s desire to increase his appeal to African-American voters. But is it constitutional? No, it is not. As Clegg explains: The Constitution gives the states the authority »

Obama Versus America

Featured image I recall an episode during the Bush years when Vice President Dick Cheney took fire for wearing a parka and a ski cap during a solemn memorial ceremony at Auschwitz in Poland. “The vice president,” the Washington Post complained, “was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.  Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive »

Strictly for Gluttons: The “Maymester” Lectures

Featured image Last month I presented three informal, non-credit evening lectures here at Boulder for the “Maymester” session, and a few of you (well, okay, one person, with initials T.O.) wondered whether they could be videotaped and posted here.  And so here they are–but only if you really have a lot of spare time on your hands, since each one is more than an hour long, and conducted in my somewhat stream-of-consciousness »

Brown v. Board at 60

Featured image Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom rightly celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education today in the Wall Street Journal, and while I join them in thinking it the correct outcome of the case, it is a source of lasting mischief that the Supreme Court, led by the dubious new Chief Justice Earl Warren, decided the case on entirely non-constitutional grounds–a sorry fact the Thernstroms note briefly. Say what? »

The case against impeachment

Featured image I have read a galley copy of Andrew McCarthy’s forthcoming book, Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, discussed by John below. The book will not be published until June 3; this is not a review. I want only to add a few comments to John’s post now that the book has become an issue. Outside his immediate family, I don’t think Andy has admirers who think more »

Is It Time to Start Talking About Impeachment?

Featured image Lately a new theme has entered the Democrats’ fundraising appeals: don’t let the Republicans impeach Obama! This has struck me as strange, since there isn’t any move afoot in Washington to impeach the president, and the idea is scarcely ever mentioned by conservative activists. Today I got this email from the Democratic Party: To: John Hinderaker Reply to: democratic party@democrats.org How can I help? By sending money, of course! No »

Justice Ginsburg: Abolish Mother’s Day

Featured image The Left has been conducting an open campaign lately to persuade coerce Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose health has been shaky the last few years, to retire immediately so that President Obama can replace her with a high octane liberal while Democrats still have a majority in the Senate.  Nothing speaks “confidence” in your prospects more than trying to push a loyal soldier out the door.  So far »

The Problem of the Administrative State, in One Paragraph

Featured image Scott’s mention below of the teachings of Publius in The Federalist about how our modern administrative state tramples all over the separation of powers has seldom been explained better in recent times than in this classic paragraph below from Boston University law professor Gary Lawson, in his 1994 Harvard Law Review article “The Rise and Rise of the Administrative State.”  Savor this with a nice snifter of whiskey: The [Federal Trade] »

The Limitations of the Law, Part 2

Featured image In my obituary notice for Gary Becker the other day, I included this observation from Becker: “Government should do much less so they can concentrate on and do better with the tasks they are most needed for, such as police and military, infrastructure, safety nets, and regulation of activities with big externalities. Regrettably, I am not optimistic that much can be achieved quickly in slimming down governments, given the strong »