Constitution

Response from Bill Frist

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This letter from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is in response to Howard Baetjer’s open letter of March 17. Thank you for sharing your open letter with me. For reasons of timing and policy, I cannot in good conscience agree to follow the course you propose in your letter. Your ... [click for more]

Howard Baetjer’s Rejoinder

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This is Howard Baetjer’s rejoinder to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s response to his open letter of March 17. Bill, Thanks for your response. I’m surprised and gratified to receive a response. I had underestimated you. You take five paragraphs to establish the legality of Congress’s abdication of its Article I ... [click for more]

An Open Letter to Bill Frist

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Dear Bill: Working the only way I know for sanity and prudence against the president’s mad rush to war, I offer a complaint and a suggestion to you, both as a Princeton classmate and as U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Background: The framers of the Constitution sought to deny the power to declare war ... [click for more]

The Poisoning of “States’ Rights”

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Schadenfreude. That’s what I felt watching former Senate majority leader Trent Lott twist in the wind over his expressed wish that Strom Thurmond had won the presidency in 1948. “A malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.” Lott is a typical Republican leader. He occasionally talks about limiting government power, but his actions are those of a conservative big-government wheeler-dealer ... [click for more]

Bush to Chavez: Just Ignore Your Constitution

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President Bush’s recent advice to embattled Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez reflects Bush’s cavalier attitude toward constitutional restraints. In the midst of all the political turmoil in Venezuela, Bush, who apparently despises Chavez, aligned himself with his political opponents and called for early presidential elections, with the aim ... [click for more]

Postconstitutional America

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It’s a truism today that in this time of “war,” we must shift the balance between liberty and security, sacrificing some freedom in order to protect our society from assault. Leave aside that this ignores Benjamin Franklin’s famous statement about freedom and security. Funny how we blithely forget ... [click for more]

The Real State of the Union

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In late January, President Bush will speak to the nation from the House of Representatives in his annual state of the Union address. By the tens of millions Americans will tune in to hear the president outline his legislative agenda for the coming year and congratulate himself on his past ... [click for more]

Spitting on the Constitution

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On December 6, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s ban on “assault rifles” on the ground that only state organizations, and not private citizens, have the right to keep and bear arms.  The Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not apply to “an ‘unregulated’ mob of armed individuals.” The ... [click for more]
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