Today, President Obama’s belief in a “living Constitution” came up against a ruling that enforced our fixed Constitution. A 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously declared Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board to be unconstitutional. In making those appointments when the Senate was still in session, Obama sought to do an end-around that deliberative body — a move made all the more striking by the fact that the Senate was, and is, controlled by his own party.
“There were giants in the earth in those days.” The death on December 19 of Robert Bork—superb legal scholar, preeminent constitutional thinker, principled public servant—calls to mind the other giants of American conservatism who have left us in the last decade: Bill Buckley and Irving Kristol, Milton Friedman and James Q. Wilson, Richard John Neuhaus and Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. They were the greatest conservative generation. They rode into the valley of liberal orthodoxies and emerged sometimes triumphant, always unbowed. When can their glory fade? They left our nation stronger and better for their efforts.
Yesterday, we endured an esoteric debate over a jurisdictional statute that practically no one expects to actually affect the Supreme Court's review of Obamacare. Today, by contrast, was the argument we've all been waiting for: the challenge to the constitutional merits of Obamacare's individual mandate.
In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation. The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.
There is no way around the contradictions and dangers inherent in Israel's decision to free over 1,000 prisoners in order to liberate Gilad Shalit. The only effect of a hard try to square the circle and make every contradiction disappear is a bad headache.
James Cole, recess appointed this week by President Obama to serve as deputy attorney general, famously wrote an op-ed on September 9, 2002, criticizing then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Cole argued:
Ben Smith has an interesting piece in Politico on differences between conservatives regarding the Justice Department’s dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and the subsequent investigation by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Jack Goldsmith ranks among the very best conservative legal scholars. He also wins acclaim from liberals, who applauded his criticism of the Bush administration's legal arguments supporting aspects of the nation's response to the attacks of 9/11, during his tenure in President Bush's Justice Department.