Judge Andrew Napolitano: “Fidelity to the rule of law is the centerpiece of a free society. It means that no one is beneath the protection of the law and no one is absolved of the obligation to comply with it. The government may not make a person or a class of persons exempt from constitutional protections, as it did during slavery, nor may it make government officials exempt from complying with the law, as it does today.”Details
Nullification is based on the federal nature of our government, on the Supremacy Clause, and most strongly, on the compact nature of the Constitution. Americans are not taught their founding history and are certainly not taught the principles that underlie their government. They talk about “checks and balances” but only the simple ones – the president’s veto power and the federal courts. But the most important of checks and balances is indeed this notion of dual sovereignty and the willingness of states to stand up to unconstitutional conduct by the federal government.Details
Every time a state refuses to help the federal government enforce their laws, the feds’ court gets bigger. They simply do not have the players needed to defend the whole playing field and this lack of resources becomes a penalty in itself. Ultimately, there’s no real need to slap a technical foul on a group of players that can’t stop the other team from scoring.Details
A Nevada man recently filed a federal lawsuit claiming local police violated his rights protected under the Third Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If you had to go look up the Third Amendment, don’t feel bad. You certainly weren’t alone. Americans rarely reference this particular Bill of Rights provision in this modern age.Details
Rob Natelson writes: “There is little more heart-rending than the sorrow of a child.
The sorrow of a child—and of her adoptive parents—created one of the Supreme Court’s more compelling cases this term. I was happy to be cited extensively in one of the opinions. And, much more importantly, happy that the Court acted to minimize the sorrow of the child and of her adoptive parents.”Details
Regrettably, today we have the opposite of what the Framers gave us. Today we have a government that alone decides how much wealth we can retain, how much free expression we can exercise, how much privacy we can enjoy. And since the Fourth of July 2012, freedom has been diminished.
In the past year, all branches of the federal government have combined to diminish personal freedoms, in obvious and in subtle ways. In the case of privacy, we now know that the federal government has the ability to read all of our texts and emails and listen to all of our telephone calls — mobile and landline — and can do so without complying with the Constitution’s requirements for a search warrant. We now know that President Obama authorized this, federal judges signed off on this, and select members of Congress knew of this, but all were sworn to secrecy, and so none could discuss it.Details
Circulation and interest in his publication remains pretty stable, but advertising revenue dropped precipitously over the last several months. He’s on the verge of shutting down the presses when a very wealthy businessman comes and offers to underwrite the entire venture. He woos Bob with a passionate speech about his commitment to news. He tells Bob he values hard hitting reporting and talks about “speaking truth to power.” He even expresses a willingness to take a loss for the sake of keeping journalism alive in their town.
The businessman comes to the table with just one condition: he gets to make the final decision on all content.
Understandably, Bob feels somewhat reluctant initially.Details
Walter Williams writes: “The heartening news for us is that state legislatures are beginning to awaken to their duty to protect their citizens from unconstitutional acts by the Congress, the White House and a derelict Supreme Court. According to an Associated Press story, about four-fifths of the states now have local laws that reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a measure threatening felony charges against federal agents who enforce certain firearms laws in his state.”Details
Because the logic of Justice Kennedy’s opinion for the majority in Windsor is novel, it is likely to confuse observers as it seems to have confused the dissenters. So in this post, I want to lay bare this logic, by explaining how it resembles, but also differs from, the federalism argument we made in our “Federalism Scholars” amicus brief (cited by the Court at page 23).
In our brief, we contended that DOMA was unconstitutional because (a) Congress had no enumerated power to regulate or “defend” marriage by imposing its definition on the states, and (b) DOMA was not necessary and proper for carrying into execution any of its enumerated powers. By operating in so sweeping and undiscriminating a manner, DOMA was exceeded its enumerated powers by enacting a law that by design interfered with the operation of the traditional state regulation of marriage. But overlooked in debates about our argument, we also made this federalism claim in the context of equal protection:Details