Constitution

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 »

CRB: Missing the point

Featured image We round the corner on our celebration of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC — with our third preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine that is hot off the press. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 65: The Lives of the Constitution

Featured image Today is the official publication date of Joseph Tartakovsky’s book The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds That Shaped America’s Supreme Law. Joseph is the James Wilson Fellow in Constitutional Law at the Claremont Institute, and was most recently the Deputy Solicitor General of Nevada. Tartakosvky has taken an original and innovative approach to illuminating the Constitution and its evolution over time, looking at ten individuals across the sweep of American »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 64: Finding Nino

Featured image In this episode, I talk with Ed Whelan, president of of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, author of “Bench Memos” on National Review Online, and co-editor of Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and a Live Well Lived. It’s a wonderful collection. The speech Scalia gave to an Irish-American dinner on how an Italian thinks about the Irish is worth the price of the book alone. In addition to »

Congress unlikely to assert its constitutional role on tariffs

Featured image Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.” At times during our history, Congress has exercised that power with a vengeance. For example, in the late 1800s, William McKinley made his legislative name writing tariff legislation. To be sure, tariffs have foreign policy implications and can even affect national security. Thus, it’s not unreasonable that the executive wants »

DOJ sues California over sanctuary state measures

Featured image The Justice Department has filed suit against the state of California over its policies that protect illegal immigrants from U.S. immigration authorities. The lawsuit challenges the legality of three separate California laws. First, the California Values Act (SB 54) strictly limits state and local agencies from sharing information with federal officers about criminals or suspects unless they have been convicted of serious crimes. Second, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB »

Losing my religion

Featured image Our robed masters have really made their presence felt on the lower federal courts in their treatment of President Trump’s three so-called Muslim travel ban orders. The Supreme Court will have the final word and it is in light of the Court’s prospective final word in Trump v. Hawaii that David Rivkin and Lee Casey declared last week in the Wall Street Journal (at least according to the overoptimistic headline) »

It’s Official: Liberals Hate Constitutional Government

Featured image We should be grateful to Ryan Cooper for acknowledging so forthrightly in The Week what has been obvious to conservatives for a long, long time—liberals really really hate the Constitution, because limited government is an impediment to their endless dreams of ruling over us more completely and fixing every human problem: “America’s Constitution is terrible. Let’s throw it out and start over.” Cooper makes five main points, some of which »

The administrative state revisited

Featured image As it wound up its 2017 National Lawyers Convention this past Saturday, the Federalist Society convened an all-star panel to discuss administrative agencies and the separation of powers. Newly minted Eleventh Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom served as the panel’s moderator. The panel of law professors included Boston University’s Gary Lawson, the author of a classic article on administrative law, and Columbia University’s Philip Hamburger, author of (in my estimation) the »

Are Liberals Making a Case for Mandatory Church Attendance?

Featured image In the wake of Devin Kelley’s mass murder in Sutherland Springs, a meme has sprung up on the Left: ridiculing those who say their thoughts and prayers are with the dead and wounded and their families. Such sentiments might seem inoffensive, but the anti-prayer theme is one that has been building among liberals for some time, and has taken off over the last two days. One of the many liberal »

Perez says

Featured image Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is not only a lawyer, he served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama and as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Holder Justice Department. It therefore makes a certain kind of sense that he was invited to give the sixth annual Birch Bayh Lecture at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In his lecture Perez spoke on the subject »

Speaking of sabotage

Featured image During his two terms in office President Obama conducted an assault on the Constitution and on limited government in the name of the higher good as he saw it. Obama’s lawlessness was little noted in the mainstream media other than in disparaging accounts of the Republican and conservative reaction to Obama. President Trump appears to be a bull in the White House china shop. He is portrayed as a kind »

Liberal scholar decries questioning nominees about religion

Featured image It isn’t often that we quote with approval presidents of Ivy League colleges. However, this letter from Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber to the chairman and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee deserves to be quoted in full and with full approval. The letter pertains to the interrogation of Amy Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, by Democratic members of the committee regarding »

Are you now or have you ever been?

Featured image Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. So what was Senator Dick Durbin doing asking Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett — President Trump’s nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals — “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?” How is it that Senator Dianne Feinstein thought it could be proper to observe of Professor Barrett: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion »

The threat of the mob

Featured image We are awash in the spirit of the mob and mob violence. It feels something like the defining feature of the present moment. The true home of such mob violence is on the left and embodied, for example in the forces of Antifa. These forces have been abetted and indulged by authorities on the left. We need to plant a flag of principled resistance. The spirit of the mob permeates »

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 »