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Constitution

Liberals vs. 'Liberty': Two Left-Leaning Scholars Side With Scalia

Evan Bernick | Posted 07.02.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Although they have endorsed the outcome in Obergefell, Ian Millhiser and Andrew Koppelman have disparaged so-called "substantive due process" -- the notion that the Due Process clause protects individual rights, including those not expressly listed in the Constitution's text, from being violated by the government.

Marriage Equality: Racism on the Side

Stephanie Mott | Posted 06.30.2015 | Gay Voices
Stephanie Mott

My heart is filled with joy. My heart is filled with pain. My heart is filled with purpose. My heart is filled with hope.

In the Marketplace of Ideas, the Confederate Flag Is a No Sale

Jim Moore | Posted 06.29.2015 | Politics
Jim Moore

Americans treasure our individuality, and we hold tenaciously to the idea that what happens inside the case of our brains is sacrosanct. We can think what we want; no American institution can attempt to suppress our ideas. Here is where it gets tricky.

The Same-Sex Marriage Decision: What to Make of the Dissenters

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.28.2015 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

A central complaint of the four justices who dissented from the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was their repeated assertion that the five justices in the majority were unabashedly distorting the "true" meaning of the Constitution to suit their own personal values and beliefs.

Reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution Should be Annual Events

Byron Williams | Posted 06.24.2015 | Impact
Byron Williams

Everyone should be familiar with the unedited version of the Declaration of Independence for it illustrates the struggle the Founders had with the original sin of slavery.

Confederate Ideology and the Second Amendment

Charles J. Reid, Jr. | Posted 06.23.2015 | Politics
Charles J. Reid, Jr.

Republicans must go beyond the flag debate to confront the simmering ideological stew on the far right. The idea of nullification in its own way is equally odious. It is a failed constitutional theory that should likewise be banished to a museum of legal antiquities.

Supreme Court to Los Angeles: No, Business Owners Don't Forfeit Their Fourth Amendment Rights

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.23.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

In upholding the rights of the challengers in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the Supreme Court sent an unmistakable message: You don't forfeit your Fourth Amendment rights when you go into business.

Seven Myths About Democracy in Morocco

Till Bruckner | Posted 06.22.2015 | World
Till Bruckner

Judging by media stories and think tank reports, many foreign commentators seem unable--or unwilling--to see beyond the reformist image that the Moroccan leadership seeks to project abroad.

Surviving Jury Duty and We the People

Kay Tacke Morse | Posted 06.22.2015 | Education
Kay Tacke Morse

We the People have the constitutional right thanks to the Bill of Rights, amendment 6, to Trial by Jury. This right is the only one we have that is documented in both our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Intersection of Race, Class and the Constitution: Kalief Browder

Sheena C. Howard | Posted 06.22.2015 | Politics
Sheena C. Howard

The Kalief Browder case reminds me that no one like me was at the table when the Constitution was created. What good are Constitutional rights, if they are not afforded to everyone?

Texas License Plates, the Confederate Flag and the Supreme Court

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.20.2015 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

Why are people willing to pay for the right to put their message on a license plate, rather than just put it on a bumper sticker? Justice Breyer suggests that it is because they want the state's endorsement of their message. The problem, though, is that this is about the state discriminating among private speakers based on whether it approves or disapproves of the message. This, the First Amendment does not permit.

Justice Scalia Versus 'Liberty'

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.17.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Scalia has identified himself as a "faint-hearted originalist." Nowhere is his faint-heartedness more evident than in his refusal to seriously consider whether and to what extent the Constitution protects unenumerated rights.

How About a Constitutional Amendment to Clarify What War Is and What Our Collective Responsibilities Are?

Kevin Martin | Posted 06.16.2015 | Politics
Kevin Martin

I still remember stepping off the plane into a crowded airport after a tour in Iraq. It felt strange walking around after just leaving a war zone. Everyone seemed oblivious to that world and the fact that I just left it.

Texas, Our Texas: Will Republicans Continue to Make Things Even Worse?

Gerry Myers | Posted 06.12.2015 | Politics
Gerry Myers

There are many competitions in our society, in our country, and in our world. Children, adults, colleges, corporations, etc. are constantly striving to be ranked at the top.

Senate Resolution Celebrating Second Founding Is Just the Beginning

Doug Kendall | Posted 06.11.2015 | Politics
Doug Kendall

Even 150 years later, it's clear that the wounds of the Civil War are not completely healed. But despite these historical and political rifts, there is one thing that can and should unite all Americans, as it has united Senators Leahy and Lee and a unanimous Senate: The wisdom and importance of the constitutional changes wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction.

800 Years on, the Magna Carta for Our Time

Robin Koerner | Posted 06.15.2015 | Politics
Robin Koerner

The Magna Carta is widely regarded as the document that marked the beginning of the Anglo tradition of constitutional liberty that would eventually lead to the writing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Are Gun Rights Second-Class Rights?

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.10.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Does a law that burdens Americans' right to self-defense at times when they are most vulnerable violate the Second Amendment? On Monday, the Supreme Court took a pass on that vital question.

GOP Calls for 'All Hell Breaking Loose' Over Gay Marriage, Because 'God'

Richard Zombeck | Posted 06.08.2015 | Politics
Richard Zombeck

As the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage bans looms, the right wing has begun their assault on reason and intellect with the standard dire warnings, threats, and fear mongering in the form of corporate boycotts and revolt. As usual, their claims include flagrant misinterpretations of their favorite documents, the Constitution and the Bible.

Judicial Equality and Its Critics: Dispelling the Myth of Majoritarianism

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.08.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Do we have three co-equal branches of government, or does the judiciary occupy second-class status?

National Security and Privacy Secretly Wed in Las Vegas

Spencer Green | Posted 06.02.2015 | Comedy
Spencer Green

Following months of rumors, it's been revealed that Privacy and National Security were secretly married weeks ago in Las Vegas, Nevada. "We're tired of all the naysayers constantly describing us as incompatible. We'll show you. We'll show you all! Ha!" the couple wrote.

5 Supreme Court Decisions To Watch For This Month

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.02.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

The Supreme Court is entering the final stretch of its 2014-15 term, and there are enough momentous decisions on the way to give everyone something to look forward to. This June, the Court will hand down decisions in a number of high-profile cases.

Judicial Co-Equality Is Not Judicial Supremacy: Why the Judiciary Has the Final Say in Constitutional Disputes

Evan Bernick | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

To say that the judiciary is duty-bound to say "what the law is" and should not simply rubber-stamp the actions of the other branches is not to say that the other branches have a duty to obey its decisions. But holding the contrary position would make the judiciary an inferior branch and risk creating an uncertain and dangerous state of affairs.

Liberty Is a Two-Way Street: Reconciling Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty

Evan Bernick | Posted 05.29.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

The language of the Court's substantive due process opinions is often imprecise. And there is room for reasoned disagreement about particular decisions. But the essential premise upon which they depend is sound, and defenders of limited government should embrace it.

President's Task Force a Springboard for Policing Reforms

Lauren-Brooke Eisen | Posted 05.28.2015 | Politics
Lauren-Brooke Eisen

While the Task Force's final report, released this week, does include some smart recommendations that could improve the criminal justice system, they missed two key opportunities to reform police practices.

Our Rights Are 'Many and Infinite': Rand Paul's Revolutionary Idea

Evan Bernick | Posted 05.27.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

During his 10-and-a-half hour filibuster in opposition to the Patriot Act, Senator Paul boldly asserted that the Constitution protects individual rights not expressly listed in its text, including the "right to privacy." As Senator Paul put it, "Few and limited [are] the powers given to the government. But it's the opposite with your rights. Your rights are many and infinite."