Tag: Constitution

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It is times such as these where i think of two things. 1. The Federalist makes clear that the recourse to usurpation is men with guns. 2. I am under oath to protect this Constitution; and I struggle with that in modern life. Hat tip to Mark Levin Did you know there was an amendment passed today ? More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Constitutional Flaw That Doomed Our Federal System

 

Instead of watching helplessly as our republic devolves into crown government, let’s distract ourselves with a counterfactual. What if senators were appointed by state legislatures for indefinite terms?

The Senate was designed to preserve the federal nature of our system. Members of the House represent the people, but the Senators were to represent the states — really, state governments.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. What the DHS Funding Battle Tells Us About the State of the Union

 

The continuing clash over DHS funding is the fourth such shutdown battle since Republicans took the House in 2011. First, there was the 2011 debt ceiling fight. Next came the 2012 fiscal cliff. Finally, we had the two-week shutdown of 2013. Now we have the fight over executive amnesty funding.

True to form, the Republicans will lose this battle like they lost the other three, and Obama will carry on unopposed with his strategic pincer movement: on one flank, a vast expansion of the welfare state through the annexation of what’s left of the private healthcare system; on the other, the ethnic and cultural transformation of the country through open immigration and the flouting of existing law. These two domestic objectives are manifestly incompatible with each other, openly mock the rule of law, and are deeply unpopular. Yet, over the remainder of his term, Obama will cement them into place irreversibly, making him the most consequential president since FDR.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Judge Rules Obama’s Immigration Action Unconstitutional

 

I sympathize with Judge Schwab on the merits, but disagree with his effort to reach out and decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s immigration order. Judge Schwab is right that President Obama’s order crosses the line from legitimate prosecutorial discretion (choosing where to allocate limited law-enforcement resources) in enforcing the laws into Congress’s power over legislation.

But I don’t think the question was properly raised. In this case, the executive branch is prosecuting the defendant, Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, for violating the immigration laws (he illegally re-entered the country after a deportation in 2005). This is not a case where the executive order applies, because the Obama administration is not allowing an illegal alien to remain in the country; rather, it is enforcing Congress’s laws here as written (for once). The executive order only applies to civil removal proceedings, while this case is a criminal one. There is no real dispute over the law, because regardless of whether the executive order is constitutional or not, it would make no difference in Juarez-Escobar’s case (in fact, the defendant here pled guilty).

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Surreal World

 

The temptation arises, when one has been away for too long, to unleash a tidal wave of prose that risks drowning all but the most hearty readers. And since, as Oscar Wilde observed, “I can resist anything except temptation,” I will do all I can to keep things snappy, but beyond that all bets are off. Besides which, my wonderful fiancé and her delightful mother are dining with a small group of Catholic ladies this evening, which gives me the perfect opportunity to relax with a delicious bowl of gumbo and a glass of smooth bourbon while trying to hone disparate thoughts for your enjoyment, or consternation, as the case may be.

I don’t know the extent to which my absence was conspicuous, but I, for one, certainly missed the company of the good people here at Ricochet. Now, lest you think I’ve been slouching into a full RNC-like stupor, and perhaps to help balance the productivity ledger, I should explain that I’ve spent the last six weeks or so finishing the book I swore to complete by the end of the year. The time to write being a precious and fleeting commodity, I elected to devote all of my energy to the book rather than split it between competing projects. A compilation of travel pieces, the book is pretty evenly divided between life as an over-the-road truck driver and life as an active duty military member deploying across the globe, with a few surprise chapters thrown in for good measure. The search is now on for a publisher.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Which Constitutional Amendment Is Most Critical to the Republic? No Picking the 21st, too Obvious

 

constitution

I know what you’re thinking: the First Amendment, of course! What else matters if we cannot freely express our opinions? I say balderdash. I’m constantly self-censoring my opinion, even with this constitutional protection. Just ask my wife.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Can Congress Censure Obama?

 

Republicans opposed to President Obama’s immigration order are floating the idea of Congress voting to “censure” the President. Liberals are suggesting censure is unconstitutional because the Constitution nowhere authorizes Congress to censure anybody.

People who think a censure bill clearly is unconstitutional take censure too seriously and the Constitution not seriously enough.

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Honest Question: Other than scale, what makes President Obama’s executive order substantively different than the other 39 immigration Executive Orders of the past 58 years? More

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The hot question in politics that is currently being ignored by most media is not what the Republicans should do in the event of President Obama’s imperial decree that illegal aliens be issued work permits and social security cards and be exempt from deportation. The question is what are the Democrats in Congress going to […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Article II of the US constitution begins: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” From this comes the theory of the unitary executive. As described by the Annenberg Institute, This theory holds that Congress cannot limit the president’s control of the executive branch because the Constitution sets […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Which Is Best for Liberty: The Presidency or a Parliament?

 

indexIn the Claremont Review of Books, I review a recent book by my friend, Frank Buckley, of George Mason Law School. His provocative argument is that the U.S. Constitution harms liberty because of the Presidency. He argues that parliamentary systems turn out to be more protective of individual rights.

That doesn’t seem right to me. I argue in response that the greater threat to liberty lies in unrestrained in majority democracy, where 50.1 percent of the people can legislative in any way it wishes — which is what happens in a parliamentary system, where there is no independent executive to check the legislature. But Buckley claims that the measure of freedom show that nations that have parliamentary systems have greater economic and political freedom than the U.S.

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Salon posted a 3,600 word piece setting a vision for a new constitution. It wanders across the left wing landscape, and the proposed constitution would enshrine many broad left-wing policy objectives (like environmentalism, an even more statist educational system, even more taxes on the rich, equitable division of power, FDR’s freedoms from). Although the piece is pretty vague about the details, […]

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I’d like to see the next president attack head-on the vexing and unconstitutional trend toward rule by administration. The fastest (and most terrifying) way to cure Congress forever of delegating its authority to the bureaucracy would be by giving them what they ask for good and hard. I’d like to see the next president take […]

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Former Senator Jim Talent posted at NRO’s The Corner this afternoon a very interesting discussion of the Quadrennial Defense Review. He started it with the following: Those familiar with the Constitution know that the federal government is given certain enumerated powers but in general is not required to exercise them. For example, Congress has the power […]

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The Grid Strategy was offered to the GOP in 2011-12 but ignored. Romney addressed everything thrown at him by the Press, and made no compelling arguments about anything. People stayed home. It will be worse in 2016 if we send another mealy mouthed politician instead of a Constitutional minded statesman with a robust and focused […]

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I have little respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a judge, but occasionally she does have a point. Suppose an employer’s sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage or according women equal pay for substantially similar work? More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Boehner v. Obama: Can the Courts Restrain the President at the Behest of the House?

 

boehner-obamaRight now the hottest story coming out of Washington, D.C. does not involve the end-of-term Supreme Court decisions. Rather the media attention is turning rightly to the audacious lawsuit the House Speaker is cooking up against President Barack Obama. I have not seen the complaint that is being drafted on behalf of the House of Representatives and its Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, by veteran litigator David Rivkin and law professor Elizabeth Foley, so any immediate judgment has to be treated as tentative at best. Nonetheless there is enough grist for the mill to ask whether this lawsuit will do any better than an ice cube exposed to the relentless summer sun.

A Political Question? My initial reaction was that this lawsuit has to be dead on arrival. There is a long tradition under which power struggles between the different branches of government are deemed to be “political questions,” which are, almost by definition, to be resolved by the political branches themselves through the messy processes of bluff and negotiation. So why is it that this process does not apply in this particular case, when it is so obvious that deep political divisions rule the day on such key issues as Obamacare, drugs and immigration, among other topics. No doubt that is the position of the administration’s speakers who regard this lawsuit, much as Carl van Clausewitz, who famously wrote:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Bad President, No Biscuit

 

The Constitution is a brilliant document in its way, but the current administration has amply demonstrated one of its weaknesses. For all its careful separation of powers, the Constitution provides no punishment for disobedient executives short of the nuclear option (impeachment). But impeachment is so drastic (and destabilizing for the country) that Congress will always be reluctant to pursue it. And, as any criminologist can tell you, the worst way to regulate bad behavior is through huge punishments that are inconsistently applied. People with poor impulse control can’t be expected to engage in that sort of long-term planning. (I might get caught, I might end up incarcerated for 30 years, I might be impeached, etc.)

When you have a willful child in the Oval Office, bad things will happen. But if Congress wants to motivate the president to obey the laws, threatening to impeach him probably won’t be the ticket. He needs swift, immediate punishments that are manageable enough to be consistently applied. So, for example:

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Freezing Time, Moving Forward… — Barkha Herman

 

The left wants to freeze time.

The world population needs to be limited to an arbitrary number of some recent year. The air needs to be as clean as the most famous environmentalist’s memory renders. Trade needs to be at the level of the trendiest primitive society du jour. Food needs to be prepared the way someone remembers it.

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Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court in McCutcheon v. FEC on First Amendment grounds struck down federal campaign finance laws which limited the total amount of money donors could give to all candidates and political party committees during an election cycle. While the outcome is a victory today for free speech, the underlying message about what the individual […]

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