Archive for the 'Constitution' Category

SCOTUS, Prop 8, Madison and Majority Rule

By mw | Related entries in California, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Gay Marriage, News, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court considers the question of whether California’s Proposition 8 ban on same sex marriage is constitutional. So what should happen when the majority acts against a minority, as in Proposition 8? Particularly when we see the executive branch make a craven political decision to not act, and legislators at both the federal and state level unwilling to act. In such a case, it seems obvious that the judiciary is the last firewall to protect our civil liberties, and it is only the judiciary that can preserve minority rights against the will of the majority. In such a case, not only is judicial action acceptable, it is necessary, even when it means substituting judicial fiat for democratic majority or legislative action. Self evident inalienable individual rights should trump the majority every time.

March 27th, 2013 | Permalink| 1 Comment »

Give me that old-timey filibuster.

By mw | Related entries in cia, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Obama, Senate, The War On Terrorism

Some described Rand Paul’s historic 13 hour filibuster as “libertarian porn”. Note we are talking about a CSPAN feed of a man speaking at a podium for 13 hours, yet it was far more engrossing and entertaining than it had any right to be.Ultimately the Senate voted to confirm John Brennan as Director of the CIA 63-34. But Senator Rand Paul got the answehe was looking for and the country got the debate we deserved.

March 7th, 2013 | Permalink| 2 Comments »

George Will: Unfortunate SOTU metaphors and the “unfettered executive”

By mw | Related entries in Constitution, Divided Government, Newt, Obama, Ron Paul, State Of The Union

George Will’s latest column is a pitch perfect observation on how President Obama’s State of the Union address betrays a longing for an “unfettered executive” branch by his administration and among his supporters. Will’s column is not without false notes. He implies by omission that the desire for an unfettered executive branch is unique to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Not so.

January 30th, 2012 | Permalink| 10 Comments »

The Constitutionality of Mandated Health Insurance Circa 1798

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Constitution, Health Care, History

Rick Ungar digs up an argument ender for the idea that the Founders would never be in favor of mandated health care. They were…because they passed a VERY similar law in the 6th Congress. Rick…take it away… In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief […]

January 20th, 2011 | Permalink| 9 Comments »

Tea Partiers…What About The Wars?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Constitution, Military, Money, tea party, War

Peter Beinart makes a good point about our massive defense budget and undeclared wars… In modern times, conservative presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have tried to reconcile their efforts to rein in federal power with their support for a large military and an interventionist foreign policy. But both times, the latter has […]

January 4th, 2011 | Permalink| 14 Comments »

So This Is What It Means To Be A Strict Constitutionalist

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Constitution, Law, Supreme Court

This is why I can never get on board with judges like Scalia. Is he a smart guy? Of course. But the following? Not so much… From Callawyer comes this Q&A: In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection […]

January 4th, 2011 | Permalink| 13 Comments »

Mosques, Maxims, Monticello and Mojo

By mw | Related entries in Bloomberg, Civil Liberties, Constitution, News, Obama, Reid, Religion

In America, in matters of religious tolerance, there should be no close calls, no qualification of primary principles, and the first amendment should not be location dependent. I hold no quarter with the distinction of “rights” vs. right which strikes me as a Clintonian parsing for those looking to rationalize making the Cordoba Project move the mosque/cultural center.

August 19th, 2010 | Permalink| 46 Comments »

ACLU: If you liked the Bush/Cheney Unitary Executive, you’ll love the Obama Unitary Executive.

By mw | Related entries in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Democrats, Obama

This week the ACLU released a disturbing report documenting the permanent enshrinement of the Bush/Cheney definition of the Unitary Executive by the Obama administration. With the tacit acceptance of the Democratic Congress, the balance of power between executive and other branches continues to shift heavily to the executive. While distressing, the report is unsurprising as it was clear in the first few weeks of the new administration that Obama’s campaign rhetoric of rolling back the Bush/Cheney power grab was just that – empty campaign rhetoric.

July 31st, 2010 | Permalink| 26 Comments »

A Second Revolution?

By Jacob | Related entries in Constitution, Crazy

I’ve found the base camp of crazy. Have a look: At the time that I am writing this, at least 20 – 30% of Americans understand thus far, know the true nature of President Obama, and the steps he is now taking to destroy freedom.  [...]  A real Second American Revolution is now on the […]

August 15th, 2009 | Permalink| 12 Comments »

Does Congress Have The Authority To Take Back The AIG Bonuses

By Doug Mataconis | Related entries in Constitution, Politics

Since Nick raised the issue of the Constitutionality of Congresses efforts to recoup the bonuses paid to AIG executives, I figured it would be worthwhile to share this post I wrote yesterday on my personal blog: The hyperbolic rage against the AIG bonuses has finally transformed itself into legislation: While American International Group Inc.’s chief […]

March 20th, 2009 | Permalink| 5 Comments »