Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

October 15, 2014

“Bad” or “Wrong” or “I don’t like it” is not equivalent to “Unconstitutional”

In a comment on someone elses post, another reader wrote “The DEA is an unconstitutional and illegal agency”. This bugs me… We frequently see these sorts of statements made about the DEA, the ATF, the federal reserve (where ok, there’s at least a rational and reasonable though flawed argument to be made… most of the […]

• • •

June 27, 2013

The Constitutional History Lessons You Didn’t Learn in School

More often than not, history is written by the winners and taught by individuals who love big government. Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom has been providing a refreshing non-P.C. presentation of history that is rarely brought up. Very little of what we call history either is “settled” without controversy or without lingering questions. • What is […]

• • •

July 1, 2012

Do We Really Want the President to Enforce ALL Federal Laws?

The Rule of Law, theoretically at least, is superior to the arbitrary Rule of Men. For most of human history, the law has been subject to the whim of a head of state be s/he a monarch, czar, dictator, emperor, etc. James Madison and the framers of the U.S. Constitution wisely determined that the document […]

• • •

June 12, 2012

Rasmussen Poll: 61% of 500 Likely Voters in Colorado Support Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol (Amendment 64)

This is one of the most encouraging polls I’ve seen in a long time. Honestly, I didn’t think that Amendment 64 [full text here] would have much chance of being approved by the voters, especially since a similar measure, Prop 19 failed in California in 2010. The Huffington Post reports: The survey of 500 of […]

• • •

April 9, 2012

On Judge Jerry Smith’s “Homework Assignment” And Judicial Deference To The Legislature

Last Tuesday, a federal judge in the 5th Circuit, Jerry Smith, blasted a DOJ lawyer on an ObamaCare case in the wake of Obama’s comments on judicial activism. The Judge assigned the lawyer a three-page, single spaced homework assignment to draft a position on whether the judiciary has the legitimate right to overturn Unconstitutional legislation. […]

• • •

October 6, 2011

Obama Breaks Medical Marijuana Promise; How will his G.O.P. Challengers Respond?

Nearly two years ago, President Obama’s Justice Department announced a hands off approach concerning the states that passed “compassionate use” laws which legalized selling and using marijuana for medical purposes provided that all parties concerned operated within the state’s law. This seemed to give those who wanted to go through the legal processes to either […]

• • •

June 15, 2011

Montana Firearms Freedom Act: Tilting At Windmills

While I laud any state trying to expand the freedom of its residents while simultaneously thumbing it’s nose at Washington, I can’t see this ending well: On October 1, 2009, Montana passed the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, the purpose of which was to regulate guns manufactured and kept within Montana state lines under a less […]

• • •

June 2, 2011

Controversial Organization Admonishes Soldiers and Peace Officers to Defend the Constitution

Every soldier and every police officer swears an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” but as a practical matter, what does this mean? What happens if the CO issues an order that violates the Constitution; is soldier or peace officer still required to carry […]

• • •

March 3, 2011

The saving grace of federalism

Were it not for our federalist system, the debate over Real ID would have been over long ago. Fortunately, it’s still going: The political problem for the GOP committee chairmen is that the 2005 Real ID Act has proven to be anything but popular: legislatures of two dozen states have voted to reject its requirements, […]

• • •

February 2, 2011

South Dakota Lawmakers Confused By Federal/State Distinction — Embarrass Selves

[shakes head] A group of South Dakota lawmakers has introduced a bill that would require almost everyone in their state to buy a gun once they turn 21. Turns out it’s not a serious attempt. Rather, the lawmakers are trying to make a point about the new health care law — that an individual mandate […]

• • •

December 27, 2010

NYT: Myth-based editorializing

On Boxing Day, our self-styled intellectual overlords at the New York Times gave us a gift of epic proportions: a gob-stoppingly vapid and shallow editorial on the principal of federalism. Let the fun begin! With public attention focused on taxes, the deficit, gays in the military and nuclear arms reduction, little attention has been paid, […]

• • •

September 20, 2010

Ken Buck’s “Radical” Proposal to “Rewrite” the Constitution

I do not support Ken Buck in the Colorado senate race and I will not vote for him. Actually, between his extreme position on abortion, on banning common forms of birth control, and his sexist comments he made about his primary opponent, I think he is quite a jackass. But even as much as I […]

• • •

August 19, 2010

Counterpoint: Civil Disobedience Or Not, Nullification Is Unconstitutional

In his post that started this debate, Brad Warbiany makes this point about the idea that the individual states have the power, or at least the right, to make declarations as to the Constitutionality of Federal laws: Nullification is the civil disobedience of Federalism. Is it legal? No. After all, the Supremacy Clause and judicial […]

• • •

August 17, 2010

Point: Nullification Is The Civil Disobedience of Federalism

This post is a part of our continuing series Point/Counterpoint. I am taking the position that state Nullification of federal law is a legitimate action, and Doug Mataconis will respond tomorrow with a rebuttal. In memory of James Kilpatrick, we’ll dedicate this installment to him. In federal politics, states are party to an uneasy compact […]

• • •

June 22, 2010

CounterPoint: Yes, Virginia, States Really Do Have Rights

This is a segment in The Liberty Papers’ continuing “Point/Counterpoint” series. This post is the rebuttal to my co-contributor Michael Powell’s post here, making the point that “states’ rights” are an antiquated and poisoned concept. When I saw Michael’s post this morning, I was a little bit surprised. I was expecting him to make the […]

• • •

May 29, 2010

There Is No Such Thing As “State’s Rights”

Stephen Green has an excellent column this week at Pajamas Media where he cautions his fellow libertarians to stay away from the siren call of the “state’s rights” movement: We need to give up this notion of “states’ rights.” First of all, it’s in bad taste. The phrase used to be code for “Jim Crow.” […]

• • •

May 23, 2010

Contra Rand Paul: The Libertarian And Constitutional Case For The Civil Rights Act Of 1964

Made by several of the most prominent libertarian scholars out there: “I think Rand Paul is wrong about the Civil Rights Act,” libertarian Cato Institute scholar Brink Lindsey wrote in an e-mail. “As a general matter, people should be free to deal or not deal with others as they choose. And that means we discriminate […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 9:13 am || Permalink || Comments (6) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Federalism,History,Individual Rights,Property Rights
• • •

March 27, 2010

Will The Supreme Court Strike Down ObamaCare ? Don’t Be So Quick To Say Yes

The New York Times’ long-time SCOTUS reporter Linda Greenhouse takes a look at how the current court might look at the challenges to the health care reform law: The challengers invoke and seek to build upon the Rehnquist court’s “federalism revolution” that flowered briefly during the 1990’s. In a series of 5-to-4 rulings, the court […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:24 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Commerce Clause,Constitution,Federalism,Founding Fathers,Healthcare,Legal,Liberty,Politics
• • •

March 23, 2010

Thirteen States File Suit Against ObamaCare

Well, that didn’t take long: TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Attorneys general from 13 states sued the federal government Tuesday, claiming the landmark health care overhaul bill is unconstitutional just seven minutes after President Barack Obama signed it into law. The lawsuit was filed in Pensacola after the Democratic president signed the bill the House passed Sunday […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 9:01 am || Permalink || Comments (5) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Commerce Clause,Constitution,Federalism,Freedom,Healthcare,Legal,Politics
• • •

Will The Courts Strike Down ObamaCare ? Don’t Count On It

Over at The American Spectator, conservative lawyer Stacy Cline points out that the legal challenges to ObamaCare have the odds, and the case law, against them: Last night’s passage of the greatest expansion of the federal government since the Great Society is a sad day for our country, not only because it may bankrupt our […]

• • •
Next Page »
Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML