Constitution

Publius on the Relation of the Federal Government to the States

By |2019-08-08T23:10:24-05:00August 8th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Federalist Papers, Government, History, James Madison, Politics|

James Madison wrote in “The Federalist” that the Constitution puts the states to the test: The stronger federal government will inaugurate a kind of competition in good government, breaking the states’ monopolies… Having founded republican regimes in America, regimes animated by respect for the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God as enunciated in [...]

Colorado’s Enduring Constitutional Heritage

By |2019-07-31T14:07:22-05:00July 31st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Constitutional Convention, Government, Politics|

The Colorado Constitution remains one of the longest state constitutions, reflective of Coloradans’ inclination to instruct their government in exactly what it should do and cannot do. They knew they did not want a “do-nothing” government. The 1876 Colorado Constitution contains the strongest declaration of state’s rights of any American constitution: “The people of [...]

New York’s Admission to the Union

By |2019-07-25T22:07:51-05:00July 25th, 2019|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, History, John Jay|

New York showed its wealth of wisdom in ratifying the Constitution and becoming the 11th state in a fledgling nation. While the Empire State’s ratification was not required under the new Constitution for there to be a United States, had the vote gone the other way, the United States may have been for naught [...]

We Hold These Truths: Thoughts on the U.S. Constitution

By |2019-07-15T14:52:17-05:00July 15th, 2019|Categories: Audio/Video, Constitution, St. John's College|

Editor's Note: What is the duty of government? What are the rights of man in a civilized society? What is the purpose of law? Mortimer Adler, scholar of, and advocate for, the Great Books, attempts to answer these questions and more in the following interview. Interposed with scenes of discussion from a seminar conducted at [...]

The Declaration of Independence: Translucent Poetry

By |2019-07-03T21:24:51-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, James Madison, Samuel Adams, St. John's College, Thomas Jefferson|

The Declaration of Independence, intended as an expression of the common opinion, is truly a text of "right opinion," a benign practical text which also has a peculiarly sound relation to the realm of thought. Section I:  The Legacy of the Declaration When American schoolchildren first discover that they have a place in the world they [...]

American Liberty Reconsidered

By |2019-07-03T10:19:44-05:00July 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Independence Day, Lee Cheek, Liberty, Senior Contributors|

The continued success of our nation is dependent upon a recovery of our appreciation of liberty, a return to the original division of government power as prescribed by the Constitution, and a renewal of personal responsibility for perpetuating the regime. As we celebrate American Independence, it is appropriate to reflect upon the foundations of [...]

Three Cheers for the Articles of Confederation

By |2019-06-16T21:56:11-05:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, Timeless Essays|

That we remember the Articles of Confederation poorly has far more to do with the ultimate success of American nationalists than it does with actual failure or success of the Articles themselves… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Bradley J. Birzer, as he reconsiders the legacy [...]

The Constitutional Intrigue of West Virginia Statehood

By |2019-05-22T00:04:40-05:00May 21st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Government, History, Politics|

Admitted in June 20, 1863 by ratifying the U.S. Constitution, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state. It is known as “The Mountain State” with the West Virginia State Constitution in current use adopted in 1872. The story of how West Virginia became a state is an amazing story, full of constitutional intrigue and slight-of-hand [...]

Orestes Brownson’s New England and the Unwritten Constitution

By |2019-05-20T10:01:09-05:00May 19th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil Society, Constitution, Culture, History, Political Philosophy, Politics, Timeless Essays|

Orestes Brownson so esteemed New England people, customs, and institutions that they dominated his writings and fit at the heart of his political ideas. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Michael J. Connolly, as he considers the political thought of Orestes Brownson. —W. Winston Elliott, Publisher [...]

Maryland’s 1867 State Constitution, Among the Oldest in Use Today

By |2019-04-10T22:39:31-05:00April 10th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, History|

Maryland has one of the oldest state constitutions in use today, as well as one of the longest Declarations of Rights. As such, it provides both the historian and constitutional scholar much to occupy their time. A detailed study of the rights of Maryland’s citizens will be time well spent. Maryland is the seventh [...]

The Ethical Center of American Constitutionalism

By |2019-03-25T07:17:52-05:00March 24th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Democracy, Federalist Papers, Modernity, Timeless Essays|

The direction that constitutional practice has taken in the past hundred years shows that the Framers’ conception of republican government has passed and the era of populist democracy has arrived. The underlying transformation of the unwritten constitution renders efforts to return to the Framers’ original intent problematic. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series [...]

Franklin Pierce, Political Protest, & the Dilemmas of Democracy

By |2019-01-08T23:01:25-05:00January 8th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Christianity, Civil Society, Civilization, Constitution, Democracy, Government, History, Ordered Liberty, Political Philosophy, Religion|

Franklin Pierce’s suspicions reflected a tension within the antebellum Democratic Party in relation to slavery—how can we reconcile an advocacy of democratic decision-making with the existence of transcendent moral values, the Constitution with the Bible? On the stump in New Boston, New Hampshire in early January 1852, Franklin Pierce gave a long oration during [...]

The Libertarian Constitutional Fantasy

By |2019-06-13T12:22:53-05:00December 4th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Constitution, Libertarianism|

Debates regarding the role of the courts used to be waged primarily between conservatives, who were opposed to “judicial activism,” and liberals, who contended that the U.S. Constitution was a “living” document susceptible of a flexible interpretation. In recent years, however, libertarian scholars such as Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett have altered the course of [...]

The Supreme Court: Usurping the Legislative and Taxing Power

By |2019-06-25T17:07:11-05:00November 18th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Supreme Court Precedent Series, Thomas R. Ascik|

“Precedence,” as well as following or overturning precedents, is not limited to what is decided in new cases. It is also concerns the adherence to established principles of judicial jurisprudence. Without both kinds of precedence, there is no limit to the power of the judiciary... In the last installment of this survey of the judicial principle [...]