Tag Archives: constitutional originalism

Looking Through the Proper Constitutional Lens

Magnifying glass on American Constitution, emphasising the word Election. We the People in background. Sepia toned. The past connecting with the present.

Most Americans believe a Supreme Court opinion automatically makes a given federal action constitutional, even though they have no clue about the actual constitutional issues involved. They are looking through the wrong constitutional lens. For most, it’s not even that they read the court’s opinion and agree with the reasoning. No, they just automatically assume […]

Beware of J.D. Impairment – Lawyers Don’t Necessarily Know the Constitution

judge-long

When it comes to constitutional issues, most lawyers in America suffer from what I call J.D. impairment.  I don’t mean to disparage lawyers. But by and large, they don’t have a clue about the actual meaning of the Constitution. Of course, most Americans don’t have a clue either. What makes this particularly problematic when it […]

Constitution 101: Was the Bill of Rights Meant to Apply to the States?

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Last week we began examining the Bill of Rights. This week we will address a specific question: was the Bill of Rights intended to apply to the state governments? Some people argue that it was. They concoct some interesting arguments based on “rules of construction” or approach it through various philosophies of rights and liberty […]

Constitution 101: The Bill of Rights

bill of rights_cropped

I was originally planning on looking at the Second Amendment this week, but it occurred to me that we should examine the Bill of Rights more generally before digging into specific provisions. Adding a declaration of rights to the Constitution was a condition of ratification for several states, and five state ratification documents included specific […]

Constitution 101: War Powers

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Over the last several weeks, we’ve looked at the “general welfare,” “necessary and proper,” and “commerce” clauses, three constitutional provisions often used by progressives to expand federal power, and we established what those clauses actually mean. While liberal constitutional interpreters abuse those clauses, scholars and politicians have utterly disregarded the proper understanding of war powers. […]

Constitution 101: Necessary and Proper, Not Anything and Everything

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Last week, we considered the first of several constitutional clauses often misinterpreted to expand federal power. We started with the “general welfare clause,” and established that it does not give the federal government the authority to do anything and everything that might promote the general welfare of the United States. This week we take up […]