The Case For Secession

Featured image On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Texas cannot enforce its border control law, SB 4, because it conflicts with federal law that preempts the field of immigration. The decision is here. Jonathan Turley analyzes the issue here. Briefly, Turley thinks the panel decision is a correct interpretation of the Constitution and of case law on preemption. The constitutional issue turns on the »

What the Court Did On Immigration [Updated]

Featured image A showdown is coming on the conflict between the Biden administration, which is determined to negate federal immigration law, and the State of Texas, which bears the brunt of Biden’s open border policy and is determined to vindicate our immigration laws and protect its own citizens. The case is pending in the Fifth Circuit, but a shot across the bow was fired yesterday in the Supreme Court. This is the »

Mississippi, Beacon of Progress

Featured image Why did one of Britain’s leading advocates for Brexit leave the U.K. to head up a policy organization in Mississippi? Douglas Carswell explains in the Telegraph: You might be surprised to learn that Mississippi, the poorest state in the US, is now wealthier than Britain. Mississippi’s GDP per capita last year was $47,190, slightly above the UK’s approximately $45,000, though still well below the overall American average of $70,000. While »

The Great Sort, 1993-2023

Featured image This graphic comes from my friend and colleague John Phelan. Ask yourself, without looking: what does it show? It shows the states that were fully under the control of either the Democrats or the Republicans in 1993–i.e., the states that had “trifectas.” (Nebraska has a unicameral legislature, so we can call that an exacta.) It is hard to remember now, but in 1993 there were nineteen states where the Democrats »

Disunion? It’s Not So Unpopular

Featured image Marjorie Taylor Greene made headlines by suggesting that it may be time for a “national divorce,” with red states and blue states going their separate ways. She was roundly denounced in nearly all quarters, as though she had called for a civil war. But in fact, her point was the same one I have made more than once: disunion is a real possibility, and the alternative to disunion is a »

The Great Sort Continues

Featured image Americans are sorting themselves into red and blue states. To be fair, though, the sort is mostly a one-way street: millions are leaving failing blue states and flocking to Florida, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, etc. As this realignment of population continues, states seem to be doubling down. California and New York edge farther to the left, while in Minnesota, my state, Democrats are proposing to increase personal income »

The Coming Crisis of Federalism

Featured image I probably should have given up making predictions after 2016, when I called the presidential election correctly. I don’t think I have gotten one right since then. But I do have one prediction for 2023 and years to come: I think the federalism issue—the relationship between the federal government and the states—will become the most vital question in our political life. Currently, we have at least two large states, Texas »

The Unalienable Right to Groom

Featured image The Biden administration has taken strong exception to Florida’s anti-grooming law, which requires that public school teachers wait until kids are in the fourth grade before inculcating them with LGBTQTrans ideology. Biden intends to fight for grooming to the last man nonbinary person: [T]he White House claims there will be federal intervention in opposition to the anti-grooming law. Moves for federal mediation include “monitoring” by the Department of Education and »

The COVID Ratchet Shows Up

Featured image As the COVID pandemic unfolded in 2020, I predicted that before it was over, we’d surely hear calls for a cabinet level “Department of Pandemic Planning” or some other equivalent of the Department of Homeland Security that we set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to “coordinate” government agency activity at all levels of government. That prediction has moved a step closer to fulfillment. From the New York Times today: »

Judge halts vaccine mandate for health workers in ten states

Featured image A Missouri federal judge, Matthew Schelp, has just issued an order temporarily blocking the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers in ten states. The states are Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. These are the states whose attorneys general filed the lawsuit in question. The mandate is now blocked in these states while litigation on the merits of the »

Biden commences his war on the suburbs

Featured image Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” bill isn’t about improving America’s roads, bridges, and other elements of our infrastructure. It’s about transforming America as radically as can be done through spending legislation. We shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, that the legislation includes an attack on single-family zoning. Stanley Kurtz has the details. He begins by providing the context: With the introduction of his massive, $2.3 trillion “infrastructure” bill, President Biden’s campaign to end suburban »

A Modest Proposal to Help Drain the Swamp

Featured image Quite a few years ago, one of my law partners was prominent in the Democratic Party. This was the good old days, when most Democrats were mainstream Americans. He wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, arguing that we should disperse federal agencies around the country rather than centralizing them in Washington. The Department of Agriculture might be in Des Moines, the FTC in Denver, the FDA in Charleston, »

Is Disunion In Our Future?

Featured image Until the last few months, the idea of disunion as anything but a historical relic had barely occurred to me. But lately, I have begun to wonder. Is there any basis on which we can share governance of America with people who hate our country and our traditions, institutions, culture and freedoms? Why, exactly, should we want to do so? Is there any set of shared assumptions and values that »

Common sense about states rights during a pandemic

Featured image Attorney General Barr went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday. He discussed possible conflicts between federal law and what state governors are doing in response to the Wuhan coronavirus. Barr stated: Well, they can be in tension, and there are potentials for collision. I think you know, when a governor acts, obviously states have very broad police powers. When a governor acts, especially when a governor does something that intrudes »

“The man who would be king” is now “the buck passer in chief”

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump released federal guidelines regarding the reopening of the economy. Trump did not suggest a date by which the economy of the U.S. or of any state should be reopened. The guidelines call on state and local officials to make these decisions. Trump was wise to say these decisions should be made locally. First, he lacks the power to make them. ( The Washington Post says that Trump’s »

Different strokes for different states

Featured image As I discussed here, Washington state is seeing a slowing in the rate of new cases and deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus. However, many states are seeing increases in these rates, some dramatic. In Italy, there are marked differences between the north and south when it comes to data for the pandemic there. In a nation the size of the U.S., one would expect to see significant variation from area »

Maryland’s governor takes a shot at President Trump

Featured image If you’re the Republican governor of a state as “blue” as Maryland, it’s good politics to differentiate yourself from President Trump from time to time. Maryland’s governor Larry Hogan went so far as to consider running against in Trump in the GOP primaries. Fortunately, he had the good sense not to undertake a mission that quixotic. Now, Hogan is differentiating himself from Trump on responding to the Wuhan coronavirus. But »