Good Old Fashioned Nullification Hatchet Job Courtesy of CNN

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CNN resurrected the old-school hatchet-job template for nullification articles this week. Andrew Kaczynski and Chris Massie breathlessly reported Alabama Republican congressional candidate Roy Moore “signed onto a resolution in 2010 affirming the right of states to nullify, or void, federal law.” We haven’t seen an anti-nullification story following this script in quite a while. But Kaczynski and […]

Trump Following in Obama’s Footsteps with Healthcare EO

U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Former U.S. President Barack Obama wait to exit the east front steps for the departure ceremony during the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 military members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve and National Guard components, provided ceremonial support and Defense Support of Civil Authorities during the inaugural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

When Pres. Trump issued an executive order phasing out DACA last month, the administration made it a constitutional issue, accusing Pres. Obama of overreaching his authority when he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by executive order in June 2012. Now Trump is following in Obama’s footsteps with his planned EO to expand access to […]

Constitutionally, Trump’s Opinion on Afghanistan Shouldn’t Matter

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As a candidate, Pres. Trump called the war in Afghanistan “futile” and pledged to pull the U.S. out of the quagmire. But in a recent speech, the president announced a plan committed to extending and deepening U.S. military involvement in that country. Trump said he was now convinced “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for […]

Feds Are Actually Limited in Using Funding to “Coerce” States

Washington, DC, July 29, 2009 -- NLE'09 in the FEMA Sim Center.  FEMA/Bill Koplitz

Sometimes emailers offer a good opportunity correct widely-held erroneous ideas. In a recent article, I asserted the federal government has very little power to force so-called “sanctuary cities” and states to enforce federal immigration law. Under a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine, the courts have long held that the federal government cannot […]

How the Federal Fight Against Sanctuary Cities Undermines the Constitution

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We all need to fight the temptation to abandon constitutional principles when they conflict with our policy preferences. I recently appeared on a radio show to talk about the Tenth Amendment and nullification. The conversation moved along marvelously as I explained Madison’s blueprint, and how state and local governments can thwart unwarrantable federal actions (and […]