Archive | August, 2017

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 […]