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Constitution

1 1969

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...

In a season of disharmony, discord, distrust, and disorder, it is often painful to stop, to pause, and to give oneself distance enough to consider what must be recognized as good, and true, and beautiful, even in what...

“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...
Bombardment of Fort Sumter

The Union soldiers defending Forts Sumter and Moultrie in Charleston Harbor had come to believe that their honor, as well as the honor of the Constitution and the federal government, was at stake... ...

To a very great extent, it was the Anti-Federalists, through their rhetoric and writings, who kept alive the spirit of localism and salvaged the great ideal of limited government inherited from the Revolution... The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America,...

If we consider the Founders’ arguments for the Constitution, we find not only that they intended it to be undemocratic, but that they would defend even its most undemocratic elements on “popular” grounds. What might appear to the partisans of democracy today as outdated roadblocks to efficient...

When Americans claim that the 2016 election was the most contentious in history or that we’ve never been as divided as a people as we are now, I have to try very hard not to be smug. After...

Conservatism is a formal understanding of man. By understanding, I mean a verifiable truth, and by formal, I refer to a distinguishable methodology which permeated the celebrated thoughts of classical antiquity and scholastic medievalism. Conversely, Liberalism is an...

Despite candidate Donald Trump’s explicit promise to appoint justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, as president he declared in his introduction of Brett Kavanaugh that, “like Ronald Reagan,” he did not ask potential nominees where they stood on controversial cases...

James Iredell’s careful apologia for the American cause—a teaching which he developed in a series of essays and public letters written from 1773-1778—clearly contains a foreshadowing of what he thought should be in a constitution for the United States...
2 938

Self-governance requires that those in positions of authority emphasize the importance of treating the Constitution as a "living document," in that phrase’s best sense—not as a surrender to expediency, but as a recognition that no nation can govern itself that fails to meet the responsibility of perpetually...

It used to be a fundamental article of faith among American conservatives that the Constitution can only be understood in the context of the Founders’ original intentions. So, is it reasonable to believe that the Founders intended a...

If James Madison offered the American republic a five-course meal of epicurean excellence, Roger Sherman was the short-order fry cook in the nearest greasy spoon, a block or two away from Independence Square...
1 1350

What is interesting is the ultimate human predicament, when serious principles, serious commitments are at odds, and there is no apparent way to compose them in sight, except for giving something up, or giving in—that will be a surrender of self. Why are we in these predicaments...