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

May 13, 2008

Quote Of The Day: Imperial Presidency Edition

Gene Healy from his new book, The Cult Of The Presidency: The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He—or she—is the [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 5:36 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Quote of the Day,Separation Of Powers
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March 13, 2008

The Case For Legalizing Prostitution

Steve Chapman takes up the cause at Reason: Outlawing this commerce serves mainly to make things worse, not better. It assures income to criminal organizations with long experience evading the law. It makes prostitutes vulnerable to abuse. It prevents measures to protect the health of providers and patrons. It exempts an industry from the taxes [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 12:29 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Individual Rights,Legal,Privacy,Separation Of Powers
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March 6, 2008

When is Armed Rebellion Appropriate?

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason. Ovid One interesting question within political theory is the question of when armed rebellion against a government is justified. Most people that tackle this subject try to find some set of moral lines that a government must cross before [...]

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February 18, 2008

Superdelegates And The 17th Amendment

The Democratic Party is finding itself in a very strange position. They’re approaching a potential situation where neither of their candidates have enough elected delegates to secure the nomination, and the race will turn to the superdelegates to decide. Primary results can then be trumped by the say-so of the “party elites”. Thus, the party [...]

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December 10, 2007

Two Victories on the Mandatory Minimums Front

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday said judges may impose shorter prison terms for crack cocaine crimes, enhancing judicial discretion to reduce the disparity between sentences for crack and cocaine powder. By a 7-2 vote, the court said that a 15-year sentence given to Derrick Kimbrough, a veteran of the 1991 war with Iraq, [...]

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November 30, 2007

Federalism vs. Individual Freedom

The Constitutionalism of Ron Paul has ignited a debate that’s sorely needed in this country. The Founding Fathers envisioned a nation of individual States, each with its own quirks and ideas, and each with wide latitudes to set its own internal laws and policies as it saw fit. The central government was tasked only with [...]

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November 15, 2007

Reason interviews Andrew Napolitano

Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano recently gave an interview to Reason magazine to promote his new book, A Nation of Sheep. I have to say that this is one of the best interviews I’ve read in a very long time. On the USA PATRIOT Act: The Patriot Act’s two most principle constitutional errors are an [...]

Posted By: Jason Pye @ 6:13 pm || Permalink || Comments (7) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Separation Of Powers,The Bill Of Rights
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November 13, 2007

Is Dick Cheney Unconstitutional ?: The Case Against An Activist Vice-Presidency

In a provocatively titled law review article, Glenn Reynolds, who spends his time at the University of Tennessee College of Law when he isn’t blogging raises some very interesting questions about the Office of Vice-President and what it has become in modern times. The article itself arises out of the controversy that erupted earlier this [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 2:33 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Founding Fathers,Separation Of Powers
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October 21, 2007

Why The Line-Item Veto Won’t Work

This morning George Will makes an interesting argument against what has been a traditional part of the Republican agenda — the line-item veto: The line-item veto expresses liberalism’s faith in top-down government and the watery Caesarism that has produced today’s inflated presidency. Liberalism assumes that executive branch experts, free from parochial constituencies, know, as Congress [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 9:26 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Separation Of Powers
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September 20, 2007

Mike Ditka, Former Players Ask the U.S. Senate to “Fix” the NFL

WASHINGTON — After testimony Tuesday by retired NFL players about red tape in qualifying for disability benefits related to on-the-field injuries, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said the league is “dropping the ball.” […] “My hope is that the league will get its act together here,” Kerry said. “I am prepared, if the league doesn’t do [...]

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September 7, 2007

Fred Thompson on Federalism

More here on Thompson’s essay on federalism I don’t know a whole lot about Fred Thompson’s record at this point, but I do like most of what he has to say about federalism. He’s at least speaking my language: Before anything else, folks in Washington ought to be asking first and foremost, “Should government be [...]

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September 1, 2007

Another Strike Against Mike Huckabee

He supports a Federal law banning smoking in public places. Governor, do me a favor, please read this document, especially this part, then read this Amendment, and this one. Now, tell me, where exactly does the Congress of the United States get the authority to regulate smoking in public places ?

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 7:27 am || Permalink || Comments (13) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Commerce Clause,Constitution,Federalism,Separation Of Powers
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August 21, 2007

What is Hillary Clinton Hiding?

Many have called the Bush administration the “most secretive administration in American history.” Among those making this charge is Hillary Clinton; likely the next to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (unfortunately). On Clinton’s website, she states that “We need a return to transparency and a system of checks and balances, to a president who respects Congress’s [...]

Posted By: Stephen Littau @ 2:27 pm || Permalink || Comments (8) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Election '08,General,Healthcare,History,Legal,Politics,Separation Of Powers
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Congressional Approval Rating At Historic Lows

According to the latest Gallup Poll, Congress’s approval rating is at a low not seen since the days when guys like Tom Foley were in charge: PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds Congress’ approval rating the lowest it has been since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974. [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 2:11 pm || Permalink || Comments (7) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Politics,Separation Of Powers
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August 19, 2007

Congress Gave Bush More Spying Powers Than Even He Wanted

So says the New York Times: Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans’ business records, Democratic Congressional officials and [...]

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August 17, 2007

Padilla — Results Buttresses Bush & His Detractors

Jose Padilla was tried and convicted in a civilian court of law, and this result is being claimed as a victory for both sides. The Bush administration can point to this victory as a sign of it’s ability to find and prove that Padilla was in fact guilty of being an active supporter of terrorism: [...]

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August 2, 2007

Fred Thompson — Strict Constructionist?

Fred Thompson is flogging the dead horse of judicial appointments, pointing out that Democrats will pull out any trick in their arsenal to block conservative appointees. I know he’s been out of the Senate for a while, but the fact that he seems shocked by this makes me wonder if he’s been paying attention at [...]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:55 am || Permalink || Comments (16) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Election '08,Federalism,Politics,Separation Of Powers
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July 30, 2007

Adequately Explained

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence –Napoleon Bonaparte So, it’s been making the rounds on the far lefty loony blogs and forums (and amazingly not a few libertarian sites as well) for some time now that Bush and company are going to stage a terrorist attack and use it [...]

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July 23, 2007

The Founders, The President, And Iraq

In today’s New York Times, Adam Cohen points out that the Founders had a very different idea about Presidential authority in war time from the one the Bush Administration puts forward: The Constitution does make the president “commander in chief,” a title President Bush often invokes. But it does not have the sweeping meaning he [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:12 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Separation Of Powers
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June 28, 2007

Is There A Case For Impeaching Dick Cheney ?

Bruce Fein, a conservative who served as Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, and who has been associated with groups such as the American Enterprise Institute, makes the case at Slate: Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and [...]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:08 pm || Permalink || Comments (4) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Politics,Separation Of Powers
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