Constitutional Buffoonery from the Federal District Courts

The temporary nationwide injunctions placed on President Trump’s most recent executive order, issued March 6 (“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”) by two federal district courts are the latest skirmishes in progressive liberalism’s war against the idea of the sovereign nation-state and the exclusive citizenship that attaches to “separate and

By | 2017-04-03T05:45:59+00:00 March 27th, 2017|

The Art of the Possible in an Age of Recrimination

As Otto von Bismarck several times had occasion to observe, “Politics is the art of the possible.” On at least one occasion he added, “the attainable—the art of the next best.” Since, as Henry Kissinger once observed in a long essay on Bismarck, the Prussian colossus was a “revolutionary” who sought not to “adapt [his]

By | 2017-03-26T20:39:35+00:00 March 26th, 2017|

Gorsuch Showed “Little Guy” Needs Protection From Government

In 2012, I asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a question: Do you think the theory of “positive rights,” as promoted by President Obama’s legal adviser Cass Sunstein, will catch on in the judicial branch? “I sure hope not,” he growled. I thought of this while watching the nomination hearings for Scalia’s would-be successor, Judge

By | 2017-03-24T08:53:43+00:00 March 24th, 2017|

In Feinstein vs. Gorsuch, Originalism Wins

Neil Gorsuch is no Robert Bork—to the great chagrin of the Senate Democrats who are trying to block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirty years ago, Senate Democrats derailed Bork’s nomination, claiming the judge’s judicial philosophy of “judicial restraint” was well beyond the mainstream. Today, Democrats are looking for any reason at all

By | 2017-03-23T14:53:47+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|

GOP Priorities Don’t Resonate With Voters on Healthcare

The debate over the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare, has been revealing beyond all expectations. For many people, nothing is more important about this bill than the number of people it helps to buy health insurance. For the Republican leadership, however, it seems the most important value of

By | 2017-03-21T18:46:31+00:00 March 21st, 2017|

Shootout over Natural Law at Gorsuch Gulch?

Supreme Court justices sometimes devise overly clever “tests” in their opinions to determine the constitutionality of a law or government action. Here’s my one-pronged (and multi-part) Supreme Court minimal competency test, derived from Abraham Lincoln’s critique of Chief Justice Taney’s opinion in Dred Scot: Was Lincoln right in making the Declaration of Independence the basis of constitutional government?

By | 2017-03-21T15:39:54+00:00 March 21st, 2017|

Can Activist Judges Be Controlled?

Congress failed in 1805 to impeach Justice Samuel Chase. But circumstances have changed. The disquieting spectacle of three unelected judges (all appointed by President Barack Obama) enjoining the signature initiative of the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, without even citing the statute—8 U.S.C. section 1182(f)—that expressly authorizes the action they just stopped, has focused

By | 2017-03-20T15:34:45+00:00 March 20th, 2017|

A Government of Laws, Not Men

I suspect that nearly all readers of American Greatness are familiar with John Adams’ famous statement about the rule of law in his Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved by the voters in 1780. “In the government of this commonwealth,” Adams wrote, “the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or

By | 2017-03-19T09:28:33+00:00 March 19th, 2017|

Why Republicans Cannot Bear Trump’s Spending Plan in One Easy Lesson

The White House on Thursday released what officials variously described as a “skinny budget,” a “hard power budget,” and—most memorably—an “America First” budget that begins “a New Chapter of American Greatness.” (I’m partial to the last one.) As flattering as that sounds, the truth is President Trump’s first budget outline is far from “great.” The

By | 2017-03-17T13:35:32+00:00 March 17th, 2017|

Real Healthcare Reform Will Require a Fight

If you think we got the American Health Care Act (variously nicknamed RyanCare or TrumpCare) because the conservative establishment has once again sold us down the river, I’ve got some oceanfront real estate in Arizona I’d like to show you. Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are not the problem, we are. Rather, our silence is.

By | 2017-03-09T17:00:46+00:00 March 9th, 2017|