Second in a Series: The Message of the Farmer Letters

Second in a Series: The Message of the Farmer Letters

This is the second of a five-part series on Founding Father John Dickinson, who published his highly influential “Farmer Letters” exactly 250 years ago. The series was first published by the Washington Post’s blog, The Volokh Conspiracy. The Farmer letters are best understood when read in conjunction with Dickinson’s 1764 speech and his 1774 Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great-Britain Over the Colonies in America. The latter tract elaborated The Farmer’s comments about government. This discussion, although drawing principally…

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First In A Series: John Dickinson Comes Into Prominence

First In A Series: John Dickinson Comes Into Prominence

This is the first of a five-part series on Founding Father John Dickinson, who published his highly influential “Farmer Letters” exactly 250 years ago. The series was first published by the Washington Post’s blog, The Volokh Conspiracy. This year marks the 250th anniversary of one of the most influential series of writings in American history. The series was John Dickinson’s Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. The “letters” were twelve newspaper essays, the first of which was published in November,…

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Removing ‘Faithless’ Presidential Electors Is Unconstitutional

Removing ‘Faithless’ Presidential Electors Is Unconstitutional

This article originally appeared in the Daily Caller. A 2016 Colorado Democratic presidential elector who pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton is suing because the state removed him from his position after he voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich instead. He joins two other electors with somewhat similar claims. The three electors argue the Constitution bans states from dictating how they vote. They are represented by Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor of wide interests and abilities. According to the original meaning of…

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Rights for a River? An Effort to Undermine Democracy and Make the Law Unfair

Rights for a River? An Effort to Undermine Democracy and Make the Law Unfair

This article originally appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette. An environmental organization is asking a court to grant a river status as a “person” with the rights of personhood, thereby launching an attack on judicial fairness, the rule of law, and democracy. The group is Deep Green Resistance, and it argues the Colorado River should have rights of its own. On what reasonable basis Deep Green purports to know better than others what the river needs is anyone’s guess. How…

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Why Removing Historical Monuments is a Bad Idea

Why Removing Historical Monuments is a Bad Idea

This article originally appeared in The Hill. While most Americans watch helplessly, our stateside Taliban vandalizes and removes long-standing public monuments. As some commentators point out, this destruction weakens our consciousness of history, including history’s darker side. Even more importantly, however, erasing monuments of once-revered figures upsets an unspoken, but long-prevailing, consensus governing our decisions of whom to commemorate.  The consensus renders the commemoration process more meaningful and less political than it otherwise would be. The standard traditionally applied is as…

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