Judicial activism: Here’s a core reason for it you’ve never heard about

Judicial activism: Here’s a core reason for it you’ve never heard about

Whenever a court issues a highly publicized liberal activist decision, constitutionalists understandably become upset. They cast around for ways to stop this kind of overreaching. But if you want to devise a viable solution to misconduct, you have to understand the reasons for the misconduct. And constitutionalists almost invariably overlook one of the core reasons. This post discusses that reason. Next week we shall address possible solutions. Federal judges and state supreme court justices are largely drawn from a group…

Read More Read More

Drafting a Balanced Budget Amendment: It’s tougher than you might think

Drafting a Balanced Budget Amendment: It’s tougher than you might think

The idea of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution (BBA) has been highly popular since the 1970s. Yet Congress has failed to propose a BBA, and the number of states applying for a proposing convention remains stuck below the necessary 34. Meanwhile, the federal debt continues to soar out of control. Among the tactics employed by Article V skeptics is to highlight the difficulties in drafting an effective BBA. For once they have a point. Here are some…

Read More Read More

If you want to win a Supreme Court case, it helps to play to “progressive” values

If you want to win a Supreme Court case, it helps to play to “progressive” values

This article originally appeared in The Hill. Two new Supreme Court decisions illustrate the point: Even conservative litigants should argue their cases so as to genuflect before the legal elite’s “progressive” faith. Courts are supposed to apply the law neutrally. When construing the Constitution, this means they should apply the original, actual meaning of the document. Yet the Supreme Court often decides cases in ways divorced from that meaning. So it is easier to win your case if your argument…

Read More Read More

Congress may control immigration through its “law of nations” power

Congress may control immigration through its “law of nations” power

This article originally appeared in The Hill. A follow-up with more information appears here. Some pro-immigration activists question whether the federal government has any constitutional power over immigration. “Where,” they ask, “is the word ‘immigration’ among the powers the Constitution grants to Congress?” This question has embarrassed many who favor restrictions. They have cast around for answers, but by and large, their answers have been unpersuasive. For example, they have argued the Constitution granted implied power to restrict immigration because such…

Read More Read More

The last convention of states ever held? It Centered on the Upper Colorado River

The last convention of states ever held? It Centered on the Upper Colorado River

I recently obtained the records of what may be the last convention of states ever held—records demonstrating that states were meeting in convention well into the mid 20th century. A “convention of states” as the American Founders and subsequent generations understood the term, is a temporary conclave of legislatively-authorized representatives from three or more states. It is both a diplomatic gathering—the representatives or “commissioners” are essentially ambassadors from their respective legislatures—and a problem-solving task force. Sometimes representatives of sovereignties other…

Read More Read More