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Constitution

Slavery and the Civil War: Not What You Think

Jeff Schweitzer | Posted 06.14.2011 | Politics
Jeff Schweitzer

With a volley of artillery fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, the South started a war that nearly destroyed the United State...

From Dictatorship to Democracy: Hungarians Unite in Drafting Constitution

Joseph K. Grieboski | Posted 05.30.2011 | World
Joseph K. Grieboski

For the first time in their history, the Hungarian people have a document that reflects their identity, their beliefs, their history, their shared suffering, and their unity.

Eviscerating the Establishment Clause

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 06.06.2011 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The five conservatives on the Supreme Court have now all but enabled government to violate the Establishment Clause at will by denying courts the authority to declare even unconstitutional programs unconstitutional.

Friday Talking Points [161] -- April Fools

Chris Weigant | Posted 06.01.2011 | Politics
Chris Weigant

To clarify that title: when you pull a prank on this particular day, you're supposed to reveal yourself as the prankster by yelling "April Fools!" (or...

Needed: A New Approach to Ethics in Government

Terry Newell | Posted 06.03.2011 | Politics
Terry Newell

If we intend to foster ethics in government, we have to get people to think about what they should do, not just what they must not do. At least three steps would be a start.

House Republicans' Constitutional Ignorance

Chris Weigant | Posted 05.30.2011 | Politics
Chris Weigant

House Republican leaders announced they'll be voting on a bill that reportedly contains a piece of legislative fantasy within it -- that the House can declare something to be the law without any input from the Senate or Obama.

To Hell with the Constitution: Obama Goes To War

Michael Ratner | Posted 05.30.2011 | Politics
Michael Ratner

Barack Obama's decision to bomb Libya is another shocking example of his grab for the kind of executive power he eschewed in his predecessor's administration -- so long as he was still a candidate.

Fighting the Enemy Within

Erica Payne | Posted 05.28.2011 | Politics
Erica Payne

What would you do if someone told you that America was in grave danger -- that a powerful enemy with almost unlimited resources had infiltrated every ...

Obama, War Powers, and Yoo

Robert J. Spitzer | Posted 05.28.2011 | Politics
Robert J. Spitzer

Yoo's chief problem as a constitutional commentator is that his underlying constitutional analysis of presidential power is literally the opposite of what the Founders intended and wrote.

Citizens United Will Be Overturned by Unions

Stephen Herrington | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Stephen Herrington

As unions now have the same prerogatives as corporations under Citizens United to advocate whatever they want, they should use it with every measure of conviction the Framers had.

Libya and Obama's Embrace of the Imperial Presidency

Joseph A. Palermo | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Joseph A. Palermo

Obama believes that as commander-in-chief he has the power to order the U.S. military into battle. But by attacking Libya he has greatly expanded the unchecked executive powers that Bush's excesses and overreach established.

Should Government Be of the People, by the People and for the People?

Robbie Gennet | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Robbie Gennet

In President Abraham Lincoln's famous "Gettysburg Address" in November of 1863, he wound up his short speech by exclaiming that the living be dedicate...

Sam Alito: Setting the "Empathy Standard" for the Supreme Court

John Paul Rollert | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
John Paul Rollert

For almost two years now, Republicans have issued dire warnings about an urgent threat to the Constitution emanating from the Supreme Court ruling through "empathy". It is now apparent that the face of that empathy is Sam Alito.

Egypt's Revolutionaries Face Constitutional Battle

Adel Iskandar | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Adel Iskandar

While February 11 was celebrated like any major feat, most realize that the end of a regime is not simply the fall of its patriarch, but rather the dismantling of the structure that anchored him.

Healthcare Opponents' Latest Effort to Circumvent the Constitution: Interstate Compacts

Adam Winkler | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Adam Winkler

Republicans who have made such a grand show lately of their allegiance to the Constitution are now seeking to circumvent its requirements in their attempt to repeal the health care law. So much for following the original intent of the Framers.

Congress's First Power Demolishes Tea Party's "Constitutional Principle"

Paul Abrams | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Paul Abrams

One wonders if any of the Tea Partiers who've run on a platform to "return to Constitutional principles" actually bothered to read the Constitution, or whether they just purchased worn, dog-eared copies to convey that impression.

While the Middle East Is Fighting For Democracy, Ours Is Slipping Away

Pearl Korn | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Pearl Korn

MONEY has always been the most corrupting influence in our politics, a fact that is now on full display in Republican-controlled state houses across the midwest that are voting against public employees' right to collective bargaining.

Conservative Faith Coalition Urges Congress To Defend DOMA

Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday (March 4) that he and fellow lawmakers will defend t...

Sarah Palin's Narcissism Feeds Her Constitutional Incompetence

Bob Cesca | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Bob Cesca

Palin, who has repeatedly botched the meaning of the First Amendment, had the audacity to school eight of the nine Supreme Court justices, including the very conservative chief justice, on the First Amendment.

NYU Founder's Mixed Record on Slavery and Race

Alan Singer | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Alan Singer

Albert Gallatin, a founder of NYU, claimed to oppose slavery. However, his claims to oppose it can also be read as racist attacks on the humanity of Africans.

The Danger of Democracy in the Middle East: Free Elections May Not Produce Freedom

Terry Newell | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Terry Newell

That we have spent more on arming Middle Eastern nations than on helping their people learn the art of republican government may well come back to haunt us in the months ahead.

Who Needs the Government?

Hoyt Hilsman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Hoyt Hilsman

As President Obama recently said, "We are the government." It makes no sense to be anti-government in the American context, unless you are opposed to the values that it represents.

Conservative Christian Lawyers Willing To Take Up Fight For DOMA

Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service WASHINGTON -- If President Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice no longer want to defend the Defense of ...

How Unions Saved the Constitution

Linda R. Monk, J.D. | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda R. Monk, J.D.

Make no mistake: What is at risk in Wisconsin is the quality of life American workers have fought -- and died -- for during the past century. Without the sacrifices of union activists, free speech might never have become a reality.

Top 7 Reasons to Celebrate Today

Emma Ruby-Sachs | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Emma Ruby-Sachs

President Obama's admission that the Defense of Marriage Act is no longer constitutionally defensible -- an admission he did not have to make -- lends huge weight to arguments in court that DOMA should be struck down.