Constitution

War Dictatorship

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Yesterday, I wrote about the president’s dictatorial power regarding the waging of war. I pointed out that when it comes to war, the president can now violate with impunity the constitutional provision requiring him to secure a declaration of war from Congress before waging war. This power to violate the Constitution effectively gives dictatorial power to the president, given ... [click for more]

The Power to Violate the Constitution

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Given President Obama’s refusal to comply with the Constitution’s declaration-of-war requirement in his war on Libya, perhaps this would be a good time for Americans to reflect upon the underlying philosophy of constitutionally limited government, especially as compared to dictatorship. When the Framers proposed to call the federal government into existence with the Constitution, many Americans were not very excited ... [click for more]

The Tyrannical Power to Kidnap and Torture

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The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand an appellate court ruling that immunizes agents of the federal government who kidnap people and deliver them into the clutches of foreign dictators for the purpose of torture. The case is Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan Inc. The appellate court’s rationale for summarily dismissing the suit brought by five kidnap victims who were brutally tortured? ... [click for more]

Make Bill of Rights Day Americas Anti-Politician Day

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Wednesday, December 15, is the 219th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights — the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Bill of Rights Day should be the preeminent Anti-Politician Day on the American calendar. Instead, it has become simply another pretext for rulers to delude the ruled. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787, “A Bill of Rights is ... [click for more]

Natural Rights, the Declaration, and the Constitution, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The Bill of Rights should actually have been called the Bill of Prohibitions because it actually doesn’t give any rights to anyone. Instead, it expressly prohibits the federal government from infringing the fundamental rights of the people. Our American ancestors understood that people’s rights don’t come from the government or from ... [click for more]

Natural Rights, the Declaration, and the Constitution, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 We live in a country whose economic system is a welfare state and a government-managed economy and whose foreign policy is now based on an extensive overseas military empire and perpetual war, along with ever-increasing infringements on the civil liberties of the people. The economic consequences of the welfare-warfare state have ... [click for more]

The Declaration, the Constitution, and Liberty in Our Time

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The following is a non-verbatim transcript of a speech delivered by Jacob Hornberger at the Virginia Campaign for Liberty’s Liberty Fest in Richmond, Virginia, on September 18, 2010. Ever since the dawn of recorded history, people’s minds have been inculcated with the notion that government is the master and the people are the servants. Hardly anyone, for example, has questioned ... [click for more]

The Black Hole of Bagram

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On Friday, the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., delivered a genuinely disturbing ruling (PDF) regarding prisoners in the U.S. prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, which has turned the clock back to the darkest days of the Bush administration, before prisoners seized in the war on terror had any recourse to justice if they claimed they ... [click for more]

The Rule of Law, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Note well that any contention that the United States of America was born out of a well-developed and unbridled libertarian philosophy does not square with historical fact. Ordinary candor and historical precision compel recognition that not all residents in the 13 colonies (or even a majority of those hardy men) would describe or agree ... [click for more]

The Rule of Law, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Americans laud the rule of law. They invoke its majesty during common discussion and learned discourse. They applaud their storied adherence to this grand old concept and disparage nations and cultures that seem less inclined to live by its guidance. Despite this adulation, I suspect that few of those employing the doctrine could ... [click for more]
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