Originalism and the Two Narratives of Halbig

Halbig v. Burwell, the ACA subsidies case, has two competing narratives.  In one version, it is an epic battle between textualism and contextualism.  The statute (says one side) clearly says subsidies are available only for insurance exchanges “established by [a] State” and the federal exchange is obviously not established by a state.  But (says the other side) surely Congress could not have intended a situation in which subsidies were not available on the federal exchange, so to make sense of the statute one should not read it narrowly but with regard to what makes the most sense of Congress’ intent.

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Matthew Lyon: The Sedition Act’s First Victim

The freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights we possess.  This basic natural right is not contingent upon laws or social traditions.  Essentially, it is nothing short of inalienable and universal between all peoples at all times.  However, in practice, it seldom observed as such.  From the early Tolerance Act of 1689 to current “Free Speech Zones” across American universities, men have tried to quell this freedom.

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Electronic Data Protection Act Blocks Practical Impact of Federal ICReach Database

A new report from The Intercept shows that  850 billion records of metadata can be accessed by intelligence and law enforcement agencies through a search engine created by NSA. ICReach is expansive, but it’s not invincible.  States can block some of the effects of this program in practice by passing the Electronic Data Privacy Act.

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Tenther Video Reports Coming Back Soon

I’ve always believed that having short, high-quality videos would be an important part of getting our message out to the general public. I’ve often struggled with getting them done, though – between learning a skill I’ve never had, getting the right equipment to get it done, and managing the overall workflow of the organization. We’ve…

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Police Throw Up Roadblocks to Much Needed Reform

The excessive use of force in Ferguson focused attention on the danger of police militarization. But there is another consequence that doesn’t show up on gritty streets of any-town USA. To understand it, you need to roam the clean safe halls of America’s state capitols. There you will see that the impact of police militarization on the legislative process.

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Georgia Football Team Should Ignore Federal Suit, Pray Anyway

On August 12th, the AHA (American Humanist Association) sent a letter to Hall County, GA school superintendent demanding that Chestatee High School “terminate this (the football team praying) and any similar illegal activity immediately.”  If they did not comply, the AHA threatened to sue them, “for damages, an injunction, and attorneys.”

This provides a perfect opportunity for nullification action at the local level. And it’s a simple process. Just keep praying.

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An Unhappy Summer for Liberty

At the root of the chaos in the Middle East and here at home are governments that respect no limits on their exercise of power. Public officials — who are supposed to be our public servants — routinely behave as if they are our masters. They reject the confines of the Constitution, they don’t believe that our rights are inalienable, and they fail to see the dangerous path down which they are leading us.

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