We often think of the Constitution as a two-part document: first the original 1787 text, which primarily establishes the government’s structure; and then the amendments, which primarily set forth our rights. But it’s not nearly that simple: Our government’s structure—its federalism and its separation of powers—was devised not just to promote energetic government, but also to secure individual liberty.Read more
Donald Rumsfeld once said that "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." He could have said the same for Presidents—we go to war with the president we have, not the president we might want or wish to have.
But Senate Democrats have a new wish: that President Obama appoint a new "czar" responsible for the nation's war with ISIS. Senator Harry Reid unveiled their proposal this week, saying that the "ISIS Czar" would be "one person, who is fully empowered and unifies the federal government's efforts in fighting ISIS."
And, he added, "I'm pleased that President Obama has taken a first step in this direction.Read more
Is John Roberts a good judge? Ten years ago, President Bush appointed him chief justice of the United States. His anniversary, coinciding with the Supreme Court’s reconvening last month, naturally caused lawyers, scholars, and politicians to reflect upon his legacy on the Supreme Court.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with frequent contributer Adam J. White on the high court's 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell and why it is even worse than you could imagine.Read more
Had Jeremiah Wright’s antics not forced Barack Obama to expound famously on race in 2008, the most significant speech of his short Senate tenure would have been his 2006 remarks on religion and democracy. Appearing before Call to Renewal’s conference on “Building a Covenant for a New America,” Obama urged Christian activists and Democratic voters to reconsider the relationship between church and state. Mankind may have grappled with our dueling obligations to Caesar andRead more
In his latest column expounding the themes of his new book, David Brooks reflects on how naked our public square has become. "As late as 50 years ago," he writes, "Americans could consult lofty authority figures to help them answer" the timeless questions of right and wrong, good and evil. But "all of that went away over the past generation or two"; today, "intellectuals are given less authority and are more specialized. They write more for each other and are less likely to volley moral systems onto the public stage."Read more
When Hillary Clinton first ran for president eight years ago, it was not hard to anticipate problems inherent in the Clintons’ wielding political power while also accepting foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation. “If Hillary became president,” one prominent Democrat observed, “I think there would be all these questions about whether people would try to win favor with her by giving money” to the Clinton Foundation.Read more
Obama Admin: Religious Organizations Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status If Supreme Court Creates Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage
When arguing before the Supreme Court, a lawyer normally takes pains to convince the Justices that ruling in his or her favor in that particular case would not have dramatic consequences elsewhere. In Hobby Lobby, for example, Paul Clement urged that exempting his clients from part of HHS's contraceptive mandate would not open the doors to a flood of other exemptions. Or in DC v.Read more
According to Miles's Law, "where you stand depends on where you sit." And so when Vice President Joe Biden hyperventilates over Republican senators' criticism of the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran, we must take him with a grain of salt. He used to have a seat in the Senate; now he stands behind President Obama.Read more
At yesterday's oral argument in King v. Burwell, the solicitor general made a surprisingly partisan quip about Congress.Read more
Three years ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy voted to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. So it should come as no great surprise that he expressed constitutional concerns in today's ACA case, King v. Burwell.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Adam J. White on his blog post "The Constitution Doesn't Let President Close Congress's Doors to Israel."Read more
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming address to Congress, at Congress's invitation, is drawing significant criticism -- that much is no great surprise. What does surprise, however, is one particular criticism: that the event will be not just bad policy, but even unconstitutional.Read more
As the new Congress settles in under Republican control, it can be easy to forget that Republican control of the House of Representatives is a relatively novel concept. Until Newt Gingrich's revolution swept the party into power in 1994, the GOP was accustomed to permanent-minority status.Read more
In their final push to enact Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi urged her fellow Democrats to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” They probably should have found out first. Now they need the Supreme Court to “find” once again in their favor.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Adam J. White on whether the Halbig challenge can kill Obamacare.Read more
Tuesday’s elections reinforced constitutional checks and balances against the Obama administration’s excesses, but not just in the most obvious way. For all the attention rightly paid to the new Senate majority, there’s another important set of newly elected officials who may soon push back against federal overreach: state attorneys general.Read more
The possibility of Ebola breakouts in major American cities raises difficult questions of public health, public safety, and civil liberties. So it is no great surprise that states' efforts to quarantine persons exposed to the decision would be met with threats of federal lawsuits. More interesting, however, is the appearance of one particular organization as a critic of the quarantine: the American Civil Liberties Union.Read more
If Mitt Romney had said in 2012 that a second Obama term would bring not just continued economic uncertainty, but also the re-emergence of international terrorist forces, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, an illegal immigration crisis, a knife-wielding madman in the White House, a beheading in Oklahoma, and the Ebola virus in Texas, even the president's most paranoid critics would have told him toRead more
Back in the day when it was fashionable for the press to criticize the president and senior military officials for mismanaging a war--that is, from 2003 to 2009--such stories often focused on the colonels, majors, and captains who saw firsthand the practical problems with their superiors' approach and who pushed hard to change policy based on that hard-fought experience.Read more
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