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|

Political Loyalty Precedes Fundamental Rights: A Reply to Jesse Merriam

Jesse Merriam makes an attractive case for a more principled and thereby, he hopes, more successful approach for conservatives arguing religious liberty cases in the courts. He is concerned in particular with State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, involving a florist who cited her Christian beliefs in refusing to make a floral arrangement for a same-sex

By | 2017-03-14T22:20:22+00:00 March 14th, 2017|

Losing is Contagious: Inconsistent Conservatism Leads to Crushing Consistency on Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court recently avoided deciding a closely followed transgender-rights lawsuit over public-school bathrooms, instead sending the case back to the lower court. But another sexual-orientation lawsuit, State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, may soon come before the high court. This case arose after Arlene’s Flowers, a flower shop owned by Barronelle Stutzman, refused

By | 2017-03-13T22:24:54+00:00 March 14th, 2017|

Trump Needs to be Trump Tonight

Hours ahead of President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, the usual talking heads are on hand to offer their usual clichéd and conventional political wisdom. Just as they did in the campaign after he won the primary, the legacy media has a unified message to Trump: become “presidential.” This was the

By | 2017-02-28T13:37:23+00:00 February 28th, 2017|

Perez Points to Battle Between Administrative State and America

The battle over the administrative state is joined. In remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, presidential advisor Stephen Bannon called for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” On Saturday, the Democratic National Committee elected as its chairman the very embodiment of the administrative state: former Obama Administration Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

By | 2017-02-27T23:04:53+00:00 February 27th, 2017|

The President Versus the Judges

“Judges as persons, or courts, as institutions, are entitled to no greater immunity from criticism than other persons or institutions. There have sometimes been martinets upon the bench … who have used the paraphernalia of power in support of what they called their dignity. Therefore, judges must be kept mindful of their limitations, and of

By | 2017-02-11T11:10:09+00:00 February 11th, 2017|

Trump and that Nuisance of a Judge

Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. By far the most controversial of President Trump’s many official actions so far is his executive order temporarily suspending entry into the United States of travelers from seven specified Muslim-majority countries. So much fake news is swirling around this

By | 2017-02-09T13:45:11+00:00 February 9th, 2017|

The Republican Surrender Caucus Returns

Over the weekend, Americans were again reminded that the default position of Republican “leaders” in Congress is to preach about the evils of unlimited government but to work at every turn to undermine anyone who actually stands up to do something about it. This reality became apparent when GOP senators issued swift denunciations of President

By | 2017-02-06T18:40:27+00:00 February 6th, 2017|

With Gorsuch, Trump Picked the One Man Who Would Check His Power

The day after a Supreme Court nomination announcement is like Christmas morning for court watchers. It’s even more special, really, because we only get a Supreme Court nomination every five years or so. We spend the day analyzing the nominee from every imaginable perspective—contemplating what his academic credentials, legal experience, judicial record, or even biographical

By | 2017-02-02T15:00:22+00:00 February 1st, 2017|