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Constitution

Sixth Circuit Sets Up Supreme Court for Marriage Ruling (VIDEO)

Matt Baume | Posted 01.10.2015 | Gay Voices
Matt Baume

2014-11-10-ScreenShot20141110at11.17.18AMsmall.pngLast month the Supreme Court indicated that it didn't want to wade into the gay-marriage debate unless there were contradictory decisions amongst lower courts. Well, last week they got their wish.

Our Republic, My Republic

Christopher Phillips | Posted 01.08.2015 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

Whenever I enter the capacious main entrance of the National Constitution Center, I take pause when I pass by this quote by Teddy Roosevelt that's etched in the wall: "the people themselves must be the ultimate makers of their own Constitution."

Federal Judge: No, Congress Can't Transform Prairie Dogs Into 'Commerce'

Evan Bernick | Posted 01.07.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Anytime a judge tells the federal government that it lacks the power to do something, it's newsworthy. And it happened on Wednesday, in a quirky case involving prairie dogs.

Somalia: Conundrum of an Activist

Sadia Ali Aden | Posted 01.01.2015 | World
Sadia Ali Aden

In order to genuinely win the hearts and minds of the ordinary citizens, the Somali leadership must not hasten making decisions on their behalf or self-interest by signing any treaty at a disadvantaged position with countries that have more negative record than positive.

Citizenfour and the Need for Judicial Engagement in Protecting Our Privacy

Evan Bernick | Posted 12.30.2014 | Politics
Evan Bernick

There is a remarkable moment in the new Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour that shows why we need judges to take their duty to uphold the Constitution seriously.

Judicial Abdication in Virginia: Judge Rubber-Stamps Health Care Cartel

Evan Bernick | Posted 12.29.2014 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Creating health care cartels is not merely bad policy -- it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has held that legislation designed to further the interests of entrenched local businesses violates the Constitution.

Is Forced Quarantine for Ebola Legal?

Peter Van Buren | Posted 12.28.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Is it legal for a state (or the federal) government to detain and quarantine you against your will for health reasons? Yes. Has this sort of thing been done before? Yes. Will it be effective? No. Is it just a political ploy to garner votes from a panicked public? Oh my yes.

Why We Need a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Ron Fein | Posted 12.22.2014 | Politics
Ron Fein

Who do you think politicians are more responsive to: (A) ordinary voters, or (B) rich funders? If you chose option B, you'd be right. But we have a chance to fix that.

What Does the Illinois Constitution Do for the State?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.21.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Questions about changing the Illinois constitution played an important part in the gubernatorial election this summer, and the topic made a comeback Oct. 21 at the candidates' third and final debate.

How Our Declaration of Independence Can Help Set Us Free Today

Christopher Phillips | Posted 12.16.2014 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

What if we put our Declaration of Independence on an equal footing with the Constitution, and give it the force of law?

Shielded From Justice: The High Cost of Living in a Police State

John W. Whitehead | Posted 12.15.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Try to tally the pain, loss and medical bills of those in cities and towns across the nation who are reeling from the blows inflicted by the government's standing armies, and you will find yourself reeling.

Want To Revive Our Republic? Then Read the Constitution

Christopher Phillips | Posted 12.15.2014 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

If thawing out our republic and getting it back on a vibrant track can be achieved without any changes whatsoever to our Constitution, as I've asserted in my last blogs, why haven't we done so already?

Nullify This - How Citizen-Jurors Can Take Back Our Republic

Christopher Phillips | Posted 12.14.2014 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

When we serve as jurors, we can literally take the law into our own hands. As Thomas Jefferson maintained, if citizen jurors "think the permanent judges are under any bias whatever in any cause," they can "take on themselves to judge the law as well as the fact."

Our Court Needs More Supremes

Christopher Phillips | Posted 12.13.2014 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

What would having more Justices achieve? Ideally, a Court with a greater plurality of perspectives, a greater depth and breadth of experiences, backgrounds, value systems and approaches to their duties.

Republic, Unfrozen

Christopher Phillips | Posted 12.10.2014 | Politics
Christopher Phillips

The fact is that our visionary Framers provided us with a brilliant remedy for reviving our republic. Best of all, to implement it, no amendment is required.

Should We Just Follow Orders? Rules of Engagement for Resisting the Police State

John W. Whitehead | Posted 12.07.2014 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

To begin with, and most importantly, Americans need to know their rights when it comes to interactions with the police, bearing in mind that many law enforcement officials are largely ignorant of the law themselves.

Same-Sex Marriage and the Dangers of Dawdling

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 12.07.2014 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

In light of the Court's five-to-four decision a little over a year ago in Windsor v United States, in which the Court held the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, it is virtually certain that the five justices in the majority in Windsor (Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) would take the next obvious step and hold state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage unconstitutional as well. Indeed, that is why lower federal court judges have been almost unanimous since Windsor in reaching that result. With that understanding, it is obvious why none of the four dissenters in Windsor (John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito) voted to hear this round of cases. But why did the justices who were in the majority in Windsor also vote not to hear these cases?

Bring the Vote to the People

David Vognar | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics
David Vognar

I propose America engage in an experiment by amending the Constitution in order to replace the House of Representatives with a chamber whose votes are based on direct voting by the people.

Presidents and the War Power

Ivan Eland | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics
Ivan Eland

President Barack Obama's claim that he doesn't need congressional authorization for his current war in Iraq and Syria is troubling. However, Obama is not the first president to believe that he has the rather imperial authority for war by executive fiat.

Profiles In Cowardice

Chris Weigant | Posted 11.29.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The United States Congress is currently abdicating one of its most solemn duties: declaring when America is at war, and with whom. This is nothing short of disgraceful, and every member of Congress who didn't actively push their leadership to hold a vote should be ashamed of themselves right now.

7 Things Cracked Got Wrong About Free Speech

Greg Lukianoff | Posted 11.26.2014 | College
Greg Lukianoff

1. Free speech and the First Amendment are not the same thing. In fact, free speech is a much bigger, older, bolder cultural idea.

E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.23.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

In Post-Constitutional America (2001-Present), the government has taken a bloody box cutter to the original copy of the Constitution and thrown the Fourth Amendment in the garbage.

Progressives Decry Obama as a Lawbreaker

Kevin Price | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
Kevin Price

Before Barack Obama was even elected he was called a "law breaker" by many Americans who didn't believe the Senator had met the basic requirement of ...

Save Our Juries, Save Our Constitution

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 11.17.2014 | Politics
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

When jurors receive that summons in the mail, they believe the court commanded them to attend, not the Constitution. Such a reality inverts role that juries were expected to play. Citizens have lost the sense that jury duty is constitution duty, and that "we the people" are responsible for our government.

Checks and Balances Ensure Transparency on Torture

Curt Goering | Posted 11.16.2014 | Politics
Curt Goering

On Constitution Day, let us remember that our American government was designed to put checks on the power of individuals in government who might slip out of control and begin making their own rules. The use of torture and cruelty was authorized by a handful of officials who believed they were exempt from oversight or review.