Constitution

Trump: The Constitution made me do it

Featured image President Trump has defended his calls for Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens in constitutional terms. He said: This is not about politics. This is about corruption. If you look and you read our Constitution and many other things, I have an obligation to look at corruption. I have an actual obligation and a duty. As I read the Constitution, it does not obligate a president to investigate a »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 147: A Few Minutes with Hadley Arkes

Featured image I am overseas at the moment and limited to Internet by smoke signals (another failure of globalization!), but as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on, and that includes the Power Line Show. (And in case you’re wondering, not to worry: The Week in Pictures is already buttoned up and scheduled for appearance at the regular time tomorrow.) Last week I caught up with Hadley Arkes, Edward N. »

The Power Line Podcast, Special July 4 Edition: Five Things to Know about the Declaration, with “Lucretia”

Featured image By popular demand from listeners, we’re bringing back “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, on this special edition for the July 4 holiday. Many listeners asked us to offer up mini-tutorials on various aspects of the American Founding and political thought in general, so we break down the Declaration of Independence, drawing notice to five key features—including how some of the specific indictments against King George III remain highly »

A Blow For Religious Freedom?

Featured image Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Assn. et al., a case arising out of an effort by an atheist group to force the destruction of a monument to local residents killed in World War I. The monument, erected in 1918 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on land that is now public, included the shape of a Latin cross. Therefore, the Humanist Association argued, »

The Left’s Most Serious Attack on Federalism [Updated]

Featured image Much of the Left’s current wish list–the Green New Deal, reparations–is fantasy. Those proposals are purely for political effect, and aren’t going anywhere. But there is an important exception: there is a serious risk that the Left will succeed in effectively abolishing the Electoral College. That will never be done via constitutional amendment, of course. The small states, a majority, won’t vote for it. But liberals are promoting an Agreement »

Political Emergencies, Past, Present, and Future

Featured image It has been interesting to watch liberals and Democrats respond to President Trump invoking the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to build his wall, now that he found out where President Obama hid his famous pen and phone. Instead of reflecting on—and then correcting—an overbroad and improvident congressional grant of power to the president, they are saying, “Just wait till we get back in power! Our gal [bet on a »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 107: Is “New Originalism” an Oxymoron?

Featured image Constitutional originalism is the cornerstone of conservative jurisprudence today, but there are several rival versions of originalism, and sometimes you even hear about the “new” originalism, which sounds more like an old Spinal Tap joke. This week I caught up briefly (very briefly—we both had airplanes to catch) with John Eastman, the Salvatori Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, »

Pelosi: The Constitution considers me equal to the president

Featured image The New York Times reports that when Nancy Pelosi was asked whether she considers herself President Trump’s equal, she replied, “The Constitution does.” It’s difficult to say which is more staggering, the ignorance or the arrogance of that boast. The legislative branch is co-equal with the executive branch. But the president heads the executive branch. The House Speaker does not head the legislative branch. At least now we can better »

California sets quotas for females on boards of directors [UPDATED]

Featured image In response to the #MeToo movement, California has enacted several laws regarding sexual harassment claims. You can read about them in this report by the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP. Some provisions make sense, others not so much. What really caught my eye, though, was a new law not about sexual harassment, but about female representation on boards of directors. The bill is SB 826. Here is how Mayer »

9th Circuit: Judges, or Robed Activists?

Featured image Mark Pulliam notes that the famously left-wing 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is sponsoring a “Mid-Winter Workshop.” Mark comments: Chief Justice Roberts recently chastised President Trump for criticizing federal judges as partisan. Roberts insisted that “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best….” The Ninth Circuit makes that Pollyannish assessment »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 99: Talking Economic Liberty with Chip Mellor

Featured image Just in time for your weekend listening pleasure, Episode 99 is ready! This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, concerning the widespread practice of “civil asset forfeiture,” in which law enforcement will seize your property upon arrest (sometimes even without an arrest and criminal charge) and keep the money or asset for themselves. By coincidence this week I ran into the person »

Uhlmann’s Conquest

Featured image A week or ten days back we linked to Michael Uhlmann’s speech to the Claremont Institute on “The Struggle Ahead“—the “struggle” being the ongoing political battle to preserve our constitutional order from the predations of the contemporary left that hates the Constitution and its principles. But we were remiss in not including an excerpt from Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams’ introduction of Michael, which offered a summary of some of Michael’s »

Our cold civil war

Featured image Our friend Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize. I wrote briefly about Charles and posted the text of his Bradley speech along with the video here on Power Line. Imprimis has now adapted Charles’s lecture at Hillsdale this past September 27 into the essay “Our cold civil war.” »

Invasion by euphemism: James Dueholm speaks

Featured image In “Invasion by euphemism” I cited James Dueholm’s essay “Lincoln’s Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus.” Disagreeing with the gist of what I wrote, Mr. Dueholm has emailed me this comment: I don’t think the coming caravan would be considered an invasion for either the writ suspension or protection of states provision of the Constitution, but I do think the president has the constitutional power to deploy the armed »

Invasion by euphemism

Featured image We await the arrival of the latest “caravan” of aliens from Central America proclaiming their intention of entering the United States unlawfully via our southern border. I believe but do not know that this would be what is known as an “invasion” under Section 9, Article 1 of the Constitution: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of Rebellion or Invasion »

Democrats: The Constitution Is Unconstitutional!

Featured image A major theme on the Left these days is that any institution with elements other than pure, one-man-one-vote democracy is illegitimate. That would include, among others, the Electoral College and the Senate. This tweet by soon-to-be-Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one example among many: It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic. https://t.co/00HZN3MI6F »

Democrats’ Hostility to the Constitution Laid Bare

Featured image One of the more revealing moments in the Democrats’ Judiciary Committee clown show was when Kamala Harris sneeringly referred to the Constitution as “that book that you [Judge Kavanaugh] carry.” Harris is her generation’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ridiculously far-left, quite good-looking, and utterly ill-informed. Here is the exchange: Of course, as Kavanaugh went on to explain, unenumerated rights are indeed in the “book” for which Harris showed so much contempt. The »