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Judge Gorsuch and the Rule of Law in His Own Words

Gorsuch

“It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives.” Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch, January 31, 2017 Over the next few months there will be a great battle over President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to sit on the United States Supreme Court.  Much will be made of […]

The Constitution, Art. I Section 1: All Legislative Power Granted to the Congress

The Capitol Building on Inauguration Night

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. This is the first sentence of the Constitution.  It appears quite simple.  The power to enact laws about the subjects listed in the Constitution is granted to the Congress, and the […]

Checks and Balances, Protecting Liberty Beyond Separation of Powers

Congressional Seal

The Founding Fathers were extremely suspicious of the concentration of government power in a single person or small group of people. To protect against concentrated power they designed the Constitution to separate the powers of government into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial, and divided sovereignty between the federal government and the states. For the […]

Halbig & King, Not Just About Obamacare, But Who Makes Our Laws

Seal of District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Obamacare is clearly not out of the legal woods, as demonstrated by the Federal Appeals Court decisions of Halbig v. Burwell[1] and King v. Burwell[2] both decided on the same day and reaching different results.   In Halbig the court found that the IRS had written law rather than enforced it and the King court found […]

Twentieth Amendment: Limiting Lame Duck Mischief

Sen. Norris

The Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution Explaining the need for the Twentieth Amendment is messy.  That is because despite the care taken in drafting, the Constitution left a few matters messy.  The Constitution provided terms of office for House members, Senators and the President.  It did not give dates for when those terms would begin.  It left […]

Howard Baker: A Profile in Courage We Need Today

Senator Howard Baker

The passing of Senator Howard Baker (R-TN) brings to mind a time when the US Congress was held in high esteem.[1]Senator Baker valued country above partisan politics. His passing provokes thoughts comparing the Congress of the 1970’s to the Congress of the 2010’s. A Distinguished Career Highlighted by a Famous Question Senator Baker served 18 […]

Book Review: The Conscience of the Constitution

Book Cover Conscience of the Constitution

I recently was fortunate to observe Tim Sandefur argue the unconstitutionality of Obamacare in the District of Colombia Court of Appeals under the Origination Clause.1 Following the arguments a symposium on the Origination Clause was held at the Cato Institute. After the symposium I met Mr. Sandefur and was introduced to his new book, The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the […]

Three Court Cases That Should Doom Obamacare

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

Over 100 cases are in federal court challenging constitutional aspects of the Affordable Care Act.  Most cases address a specific portion of the act and may alter a portion, but not overturn the entire law. Three cases have potential to doom the entire law. These cases involve the Constitution’s Origination Clause which requires that “…bills […]

What a President Can Legally Do with His Phone and Pen, Part II

President Richard Nixon

David Frost: you’re saying is that there are certain situations … where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal. Richard Nixon: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.[1]  “… if Congress won’t act soon … I will.” Barack Obama, […]

What a President Can Legally Do With a Pen and a Phone, Part I

Presidential Phone

President Obama brought national attention to the idea of running the country by “executive order” with his now famous:   “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone”. He made that intent clear during the 2013 and 2014 State of the Union Addresses as well: “… if Congress won’t act soon … I will…  I will […]