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  • U.S. Constitution

    The Uses and Abuses of the Commerce Clause

    There seems to be a fairly significant downside to a “living” Constitution: you can’t keep it from growing uncontrollably!  In the latest Constitutional Guidance for Lawmakers essay, David Forte outlines the staggering expansion in the reach of the Commerce Clause under the Progressives, from “The trafficking and trading of economic … More

    Morning Bell: Frederick Douglass’s Irrepressible Faith in America

    As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, it is fitting to reflect upon the tortured experience of blacks in this country. Looking back upon four centuries of African-American history two things are undeniably clear: for the greatest part of America’s history, blacks were grossly mistreated and the country has come … 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

    Half of All States Now Suing to Stop Obamacare

    If it is allowed to be implemented, Obamacare will eventually do deep and irreparable harm to our nation’s budget deficit. But while Obamacare is more of a long-term threat to fiscal health at the federal level, it is a  clear and present danger to the states. Of the 34 million … More

    The Coming Constitutional Debate

    The Constitution has returned to Congress. It began with a ceremonial reading of the document on the House floor for the first time in US history. While the event had some problems, the act of reading the document that provides the authority for Congress in the first place sets the … More

    The Colorblind Constitution: Frederick Douglass on Race and America’s Founding

    In a move one blogger called “Huck Finning the Constitution,” the 112th Congress left out the infamous “three-fifths compromise” in their much-publicized reading of the Constitution on the House floor. The “three-fifths compromise” is a clause in Article I, Section 2, which states the number of Congressional representatives from a … More

    The Constitution in One Sentence: Understanding the Tenth Amendment

    After the House of Representatives’ reading last week, the Constitution is suddenly the talk of the town.  Congressmen and women on both sides of the aisle are eager to display the latest “must-have accessory” – their pocket Constitutions.  This renewed interest goes beyond simply reading the document; people actually want … More

    Morning Bell: Tea Party Congress Returns to Constitution

    Shortly after noon today, all 435 Members of the House of Representatives will raise their right hands and take the following oath: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear … More

    To Support and Defend: Understanding the Oath of Office

    This Wednesday, all 435 Members of the House of Representatives and the 33 incoming Senators will perform a constitutional rite that harkens back to the country’s founding. “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned,” reads Article VI of the Constitution, “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” … 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