Tag: Constitution

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.

More

Member Post

 

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, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

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

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

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:

More

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:

More

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.

More

Member Post

 

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.