Tag: FederalIsm

This week on “The Learning Curve,” guest co-hosts Denisha Allen and Kerry McDonald talk with Betsy DeVos, a former United States Secretary of Education and the author of the book, Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child. She shares how she became one of the country’s foremost proponents of school choice, educational federalism, and bold changes to K-12 education. They discuss her tenure as U.S. Secretary of Education in a politically turbulent D.C., where special interests cling to the status quo. They review efforts to advance federal control over states and school districts, despite the fact that only 10 percent of total education spending comes from D.C. She offers key lessons from her new book and discusses the need to reset the USED’s internal administrative culture toward improving students’ academic achievement. Finally, she shares her vision for the future of American education and how states, schools, and parents could exercise greater authority.

Stories of the Week: Have America’s urban school districts become so large, consolidated, and unwieldy that they can no longer improve student outcomes regardless of the size of their budgets? With Republicans assuming control of the House of Representatives, and the Senate remaining in Democrats’ hands, how will federal education priorities shift?

Texas Governor Abbott Invokes Invasion Clause of US Constitution


This looks a big deal and long overdue: Texas Governor Greg Abbott has invoked the invasion clauses of the United States and Texas constitutions. This action, of course, is directly related to the Biden administration’s intentional failure to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, including border enforcement (which I believe can be easily proved to any disinterested observer).

This failure by Biden to enforce our immigration laws has caused great harm not just to the state of Texas, but to all of the several states and to the citizens of the USA. As far as I know, there is little to no case law regarding this issue (Section 4 of Article IV of the U. S. Constitution), which reads as follows:

Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony (’86) discusses the Enlightenment, the American Founding, his latest book: Conservatism: A Rediscovery, and Conservatism’s past and future.

Dr. Hazony is the the President of the Herzl Institute, based in Jerusalem, and the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a public affairs institute based in Washington D.C., which recently hosted the popular National Conservatism Conference in Miami, FL.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Richard Epstein, the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and author of The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government. He describes the influence of 17th and 18th-century English ideas on our Founding Fathers’ views of ordered liberty and self-government. He traces federalism’s legal roots and explains why the concept of “competitive federalism” among the states and with the national government remains hotly contested. They discuss federalism as it relates to education, with early state constitutions delegating wide authority to local governments and citizens. Professor Epstein distinguishes federalism from infamous states’ rights arguments from antebellum America, or unjust state and local laws like Jim Crowism and segregation, and offers insights on how to strike a balance between the federal, state, and local governments in terms of ensuring basic rights. He explores how policymakers at all levels should think about using classical liberal constitutionalism to achieve wider access to educational excellence. The interview concludes with Professor Epstein’s reading from his book.

Stories of the Week: In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship has issued a report calling on the government to prioritize instruction in entrepreneurial skills. In Utah, women constitute 72 percent of K-12 educators, but only 13 percent of school superintendents, according to 2019 study by the national School Superintendents Association.

As the United States celebrates 246 years since we declared our independence, Jim and Greg each list three things they love about America.


Biden on Covid: ‘There Is No Federal Solution’


During the 2020 campaign, Joe Biden promised to “shut down” Covid and blasted President Trump for letting governors make the public health decisions best suited to their states. Eleven months into the Biden presidency, the virus is nowhere close to being shut down and the White House has decided governors should handle Covid on a state-by-state basis.

“Look, there is no federal solution,” Biden said to the National Governors Association Monday via video. “This gets solved at the state level.” He was joined by Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, and White House Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.

After the President’s opening remarks, he asked the governors if they had any questions. Zients broke in, saying, “I think we’re going to clear the press first.”

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. They discuss the growing popularity of learning pods, an education innovation propelled by K-12 public education’s failure to meet the COVID-19 moment. With as many as three million children enrolled in learning pods, 35 percent of parents participating in them, and another 18 percent interested in joining one, Butcher shares findings from his report on the role of pods in expanding parent-driven educational choice options. He reviews states’ responses to learning pods, as well as school choice legislation in some states that can help expand educational opportunity to families in need. The conversation then turns to the key findings from a spring 2020 report co-authored by Cato, Heritage, Pioneer Institute, and others, Rightsizing Fed Ed: Principles for Reform and Practical Steps to Move in the Right Direction, which provides a blueprint for restoring K-12 schooling authority to states, localities, and parents. Butcher also offers thoughts on how states and districts will spend federal COVID-19 relief funds, and be held accountable, the record of federally driven early childhood education efforts, and the Biden administration’s recent call to expand federal early childhood education and care.

Stories of the Week: President Biden announced the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion plan to expand America’s K-12 system, from two years before kindergarten to free community college. In South Carolina, a bill passed by the House of Representatives expands the state superintendent’s authority to remove local school boards and take over struggling schools in chronically low-performing districts.

[Member Post]


The fifty United States of America are not “united” on the basis of unconditional fealty to even a wholly legitimate federal government, to say nothing of a one third illegitimate one. The Constitution and its Amendments were written and ratified to protect the states and, ultimately, we, the citizens, from governmental violation of our inalienable […]

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After a brief, but unavoidable, hiatus in which is computer expired, Dave is back with new gear, and even new software that allows him to video his podcasts, in addition to hosting live stream events.

In this episode, Ricochet Co-Founder and “Cheers” Executive Producer, Rob Long joins Dave for a post mortem on Election 2020 and an assessment on where we go from here. Rob does a respectable job of trying to talk Dave off the political edge before Ricochet member and writer at The Federalist, Jenna Stocker helps to spotlight the possibility and strength of faith, family and hope. This is no small task for Jenna, who lives in Minneapolis, a place Dave described as “Mad Max territory,” after months of riots, arson, a spike in violent crime even as the city works to defund the police.

[Member Post]


I am genuinely glad to see so many people rediscovering the value of the Constitution: the structure it gives our government, separation of powers, checks and balances. I just wish they would also remember this insight the next time their preferred policy or politician is the one running afoul of those limits. The president had […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have a lively discussion of the Trump administration’s withdrawal of federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project. Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand says states would no longer be able to legislate on abortion if she gets elected. And Jim offers a radical counter-proposal after learning an adversity score was added to the SAT.

It Takes a Village to Make a Village


I’m a third of the way through Tim Carney’s Alienated America and I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode of The Remnant podcast about the book. It’s no surprise to me that I like this book, as the lack of social organizations at a grassroots level is near and dear to my heart, especially when it comes to firearms ownership in America.

Gun owners are being shoved to the side in American culture, and that’s putting the right to self-defense for all Americans in jeopardy.  While my focus is on gun rights, the fact is, the decline of social communities outside of politicas is something that is hurting all Americans. So I ask you, my fellow Ricocheti, what can we as individuals to help re-create and renew the social organizations that once held our country together?

I’ve written about “Warrior Club” as one way to bond over the Second Amendment, but what are some of the other ways we can jump-start American’s involvement in the local community and preserve our other freedoms? The obvious answer is, of course, “go out and join a service organization” or “help coach youth soccer,” and that’s how things will ultimately change. The preservation of individual rights, after all, is up to the individual, not the state. However, the act of preserving our rights does not have to be an uphill climb. In addition to re-invigorating our local churches and service groups, what can we as indivivuals do on a state and national level to make such goals easier to accomplish? What tactical-level goals are out there, and how do we accomplish them?

Washington’s Bipartisan War On Federalism


The scowling face of the State

With all the talk about America’s vanishing consensus, there remains one major issue which both sides of the aisle are in full agreement: the urgent need to yoke one’s political agenda to the awesome power of the federal government.

Want to know if you can keep your doctor? What about your lightbulb? Your same-sex spouse? Your weed? Better consult with Washington.

Richard Epstein describes a potentially groundbreaking healthcare case out of Idaho, where insurers are looking to give consumers more options than are currently allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

First Principles: The Fairweather Federalist


I find curious the subject of sanctuary cities; specifically why limited government conservatives support the Trump administration’s attempts to “do something” about them. Those attempts haven’t yielded much other than litigation, and so the Trump administration has started talking about arresting local officials who do not play along. Similar is the Attorney General’s recent decision to rescind the Cole Memo, paving the way for federal prosecutors to begin cracking down on marijuana producers and retailers in states where such a thing is legal.

We have the phenomenon of those conservatives who talk about the virtues of federalism, states’ rights, subsidiarity, and limited government but it all goes right out the window when it comes to Mexicans or pot.