James Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defense of liberty

Although in the Federalist Papers James Madison urged ratification of the U.S. constitution, he was also concerned about things it left undone. He thought that many of his contemporaries were too focused on the threats posed by the executive branch, which he thought understandable given the fact that they had just fought a revolutionary war against…

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Don’t Bother Calling Congress

It looks like a recent study has confirmed something that the Tenth Amendment Center has said for a long time – calling Congress does the average person no good. According to The Hill, two political scientists recently found that, “when controlling for the power of economic elites and organized interest groups, the influence of ordinary Americans registers at a ‘non-significant, near-zero level.’” 

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Don’t Trust Congress to Protect the 4th Amendment

While there are indications that there are some positive provisions in the latest incarnation of the USA Freedom Act, it certainly wouldn’t end unconstitutional spying. There are also some troubling issues that make the proposed fixes potentially dangerous. Some analysts think the new version may have a massive loophole – something that even give supporters of the bill pause.

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Can the House Sue the President (More Seriously this Time)?

I can accept, as an original matter, the general proposition that the “Case or Controversy” language means at minimum that everyone can’t sue everyone for everything. How modern standing law derives its particular intricacies from this basic proposition is a mystery to me. But that doesn’t matter in this case, which seems fundamentally about an abstract injury common to everyone.

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NSA Empowered by USA Freedom Act

The USA Freedom Act was lauded as a great first step in trying to stop the abuses of the NSA. However, to even pass out of committee many changes altered the initial text of the bill. These changes didn’t improve privacy. And, unfortunately that’s just half of it. The amended bill which passed the House…

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