Constitution

What’s So Great about Democracy?

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In this election season, the time might be right for a heretical question: what's so great about democracy? To be sure, voting is better than violence for picking officeholders. But the real issue is what power those officeholders will have. Who rules is less important than which rules. In ... [click for more]

Did the Supreme Court Flush the Fourth?

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Two hundred and six years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the big issue for the U.S. Supreme Court is toilets. Specifically, has the invention of flush toilets nullified American's traditional right of privacy in their homes and enabled police to smash down their doors on the slightest pretext? Truly, these are glorious times in which we live. ... [click for more]

Returning to a Constitutional Cabinet

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Republicans have been running Congress for almost a year without addressing the most important issue facing us: the size and scope of government. If they are serious about change, they have to make much more serious reductions in federal spending. But cutting expenditures is not enough. Government is too expansive ... [click for more]

What the Second Amendment Means

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The decline of education in the United States may be reflected in the high correlation between the amount of formal schooling a person has and his inability to understand the following words: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The ... [click for more]

The Commerce Clause: Route to Omnipotent Government

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In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed a law forbidding possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of any school. The Gun-Free School Zones Act was touted as a blow on behalf of education and against violence among children. Two years later, Alfonso Lopez Jr., a 12th-grader at Edison High School in San Antonio, Texas, carried a concealed .38-caliber pistol ... [click for more]

Takings: The Evils of Eminent Domain

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The "takings clause" of the U.S. Constitution is the portion of the Fifth Amendment that says "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." It is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights that authorizes the government to violate individual liberty, since under ... [click for more]

Have We Abandoned Our Principles?

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America was founded upon commonly held principles of right and wrong. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution recognize these principles and enumerate several of them. Among these principles is the acknowledgment that we, as individuals, have certain unalienable rights — namely the rights to life, liberty, and the ... [click for more]

The People’s Pottage

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In 1932 a bund of intellectual revolutionaries, hiding behind the conservative planks of the Democratic party, seized control of government. After that it was the voice of government saying to the people there had been too much freedom. That was their trouble. Freedom was for the strong. ... [click for more]

The Constitution and the Rule of Law

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In 1944, Friedrich A. Hayek wrote one of the most thought-provoking books of our time — The Road to Serfdom. Hayek warned that Great Britain and the United States were abandoning their heritage of liberty and adopting the economic principles of the Nazis, fascists, and socialists. It was not a ... [click for more]

Hepburn v. Griswold

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In 1860, Susan P. Hepburn executed a promissory note in which she expressly promised to repay a loan of one thousand dollars. When the note came due in 1862, Hepburn tendered to Henry A. Griswold, the owner of the note, United States governmental notes totaling the amount of the debt. Griswold refused the tender and sued Hepburn for his ... [click for more]

Book Review – Constitutional Economics

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Constitutional Economics by James M. Buchanan (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell, 1991); 137 pages; $29.95 What are the reasons behind the growth of government in the 20th century? And why has it been so difficult to diminish the size of government even when many in society may have come to the conclusion ... [click for more]

Bringing the Revolution Home

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On December 15, 1991, the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Bill of Rights. The importance of this document is hard to overstate; by any measure, it is one of the great landmarks in the advancement of human rights and liberty. Our forefathers created this staunch bulwark to Secure ... [click for more]
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