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  • Hands Off My Purse! Why Money Bills Originate in the House

    The House of Representatives is not merely a larger Senate. The Constitution divided the legislative branch into two Houses, with different constituencies, term lengths, sizes, and functions for each house. For example, only the Senate offers advice and consent on treaties and appointments of judges and executive officials. And as … More

    Not So Sweeping After All: The Limits of the Necessary and Proper Clause

    The Necessary and Proper Clause makes things happen. To many on the left, the Necessary and Proper Clause joins the General Welfare Clause, and the Commerce Clause to form a trivium of validation for any and every expansion of government power imaginable. But, as David Engdahl explains in his Constitutional … More

    Enough is Enough: Why General Welfare Limits Spending

    When it comes to finding a constitutional authority to validate congressional action, the General Welfare clause is like a box without bottom: there is no project too local or too narrow not to fall under the rubric of “general welfare.” The scope of the General Welfare clause was hotly debated … More

    The Return of the Forgotten Man?

    During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised to act in the name of “the forgotten man,” that is, the poor man, the old man, the man “at the bottom of the economic pyramid” in need of government help.  Amity Shlaes explained that FDR redefined the forgotten man and his … More

    Constitutional Know-Nothings

    The 112th Congress has an unprecedented plan. They are going to read the Constitution-the document that each member will swear to uphold-aloud on their first day. When asked on MSNBC to comment, Washington Post writer Ezra Klein replied “It’s a gimmick. I mean, you can say two things about it. … More

    The Man Who Would Not be King

    We all know the stories about George Washington. He chopped down a cherry tree, but did not lie about it. He wore wooden teeth and handwrote rules of civility. But cherry trees and wooden teeth do not capture the actual Washington. His greatest legacy lies in resisting the lure of … More

    Happy Anniversary to the Tea Party

    On this day in 1773, a group of colonists disguised as Indians boarded British merchant ships and dumped into the Boston Harbor an estimated £10,000 worth of tea as a protest against British colonial policies. John Adams declared this event, that we celebrate today as the Boston Tea Party, to … More

    This Bill of Rights Day, Celebrate the Whole Constitution

    Many Americans praise the first ten amendments to our Constitution, collectively called the Bill of Rights, as providing the true protection of our liberty. But if the Bill of Rights had not been added on December 15, 1791 (which we now celebrate as Bill of Rights Day), would our fundamental … More

    A Reading List With New Common Sense

    It is that time of the year again: Christmas gift list guides are out. (Find out which book made both the Claremont Institute’s book list and Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s reading list!) If you are looking for the perfect gift, a good book for the airplane, or something … More

    The Myth of American Isolationism

    If there is one thing that the left and the right often agree about these days when it comes to the Founding, it is that the Founders were isolationists. Look no further than George Washington, we are told: he proclaimed neutrality in the war between Britain and France, and he … More