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Constitution 101: Full Faith and Credit

full faith and credit

Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution requires every state to give “full faith and credit” to public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. This rather obscure constitutional provision eased its way into the spotlight in recent months as gun rights advocates have pushed for national concealed-carry reciprocity. A federal conceal-carry reciprocity […]

Constitution 101: The Judiciary and Judicial Review


The federal judiciary has arguably become the most powerful branch of the general government. Opinions issued by nine politically connected lawyers have redefined marriage throughout the entire United States, authorized the internment of American citizens and dictated what kinds of decorations cities can display in their parks. Federal courts were never intended to wield this […]

Constitution 101: The Supremacy Clause and the Bill of Rights


Many Americans believe the Bill of Rights apply to state and local governments. Most who hold this position rely on the 14th Amendment and the “incorporation doctrine” to support their position. But some proponents of using federal power to restrict state and local actions through the Bill of Rights use tortured legal reasoning to argue […]

Constitution 101: The Preamble

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For many Americans, knowledge of the Constitution begins and ends with the preamble. A lot of you probably even memorized it at some point in school. I suppose you could laud the educational system for at least acknowledging the existence of America’s governing document. But unfortunately, all of the focus on the preamble has done […]

Constitution 101: To Provide for the Common Defense

Army Capt. Devin Ciminero, company commander, attached to Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, watches his sector while serving as personal security for the civil affairs team speaking with a local school teacher in Alingar district July 13. Laghman PRT's mission was to meet with the Alingar district leaders then perform a final inspection on two construction projects in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane)

The left uses the general welfare clause as its “the federal government can do anything and everything clause.” Meanwhile, the right has turned the phrase “provide for the common defense” into a similar justification for federal overreach. Progressives invoke the general welfare clause to justify all kinds of unconstitutional federal actions, from national healthcare to […]

Executive Orders

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In his first full day in office, Pres. Trump signed a number of executive orders. His actions have rekindled fierce debate on the legitimacy of EOs. A lot of people seem to adopt one of two extremes. On the one hand, many argue the president can legitimately issue executive orders with virtually no limitation. The […]

Constitution 101: The Ninth Amendment


Generally, Americans treat the Ninth Amendment like the Bill of Rights’ unwanted stepchild. They mostly ignore it, and when they do talk about it, they often misunderstand it. In reality, the Ninth Amendment serves a very simply but crucial purpose. It expands the limits on the federal government – at least in a manner of […]

Constitution 101: A General Government for Limited Purposes


If you delve into the ratification of the Constitution, you will often see the federal government referred to as the “general government.” This terminology tells us a great deal about how the founding generation understood the role of the government it created, and its relationship to the states and the people. Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary […]