A Return to Government by Consent: A Response to James Rogers

At the Liberty Law Blog, Professor James R. Rogers makes a sweeping claim that Americans no longer believe in the principle of consent ensconced in the Declaration of Independence. While “Americans at the Founding took seriously the idea that their consent could be conferred by their representatives,” Americans today do not. On both left and

By | 2017-04-07T16:43:03+00:00 April 4th, 2017|

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|

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|

Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity

Illegal immigration has plagued the United States for decades. The business, political, media, and academic elite in America today insist that the unfettered movement of all people will, among other things, lead to a greater level of innovation. According to this theory, whenever America becomes less inviting to foreigners, that talent chooses to go elsewhere.

By | 2017-03-23T21:27:52+00:00 March 23rd, 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|