Constitution

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 »

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 »