Podcast: American foreign policy, Iran and the Constitution

From the National Constitution Center Bruce Ackerman is the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. His latest book is We the People: The Civil Rights Revolution. Louis Fisher is Scholar in Residence at the Constitution Project. He previously worked for four decades at the Library of Congress as a Senior Specialist…

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Obama’s ISIS AUMF: Codifying “Mission Creep”

by Gene Healy, CATO Institute Today, six months after President Obama unilaterally launched our latest war in Iraq, five months after he expanded the war to Syria, four months after his administration thought up a name for the war, and three months after he promised to go to Congress for authorization, the president sent congressional…

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Constitution 101: What Is Tonnage?

Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 (I-10-3) of the Constitution forbids states from imposing any “Duty of Tonnage” without the consent of Congress.

During the Founding Era, tonnage was a levy imposed on the cargo capacity of ships entering or leaving harbors. As the Constitution’s words indicate, it was a species in a larger class of financial exactions known as duties.

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Boehner’s Plan for Netanyahu to Address Congress is Unconstitutional

As has been widely reported, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress.  If Congress does host the speech, would it be unconstitutional?  Peter Spiro at Opinio Juris suggests that it would.  I agree.

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Democrats and Republicans Alike Get the Supremacy Clause Wrong

When the issue of federal power over states’ rights come into the forefront, Democrats are quick to cite the supremacy clause as beyond debate.  Yet, Republicans often use the same talking points.  When GOP policies need that extra “federal muscle,” Republicans imitate their political opponents and claim federal law as supreme without question.

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Good War and Bad Peace: Perpetual War and the Erosion of Liberty

In a letter written in 1783, Benjamin Franklin said, “In my opinion, there never was a good War, or a bad Peace.”

That kind of talk today probably would get Ben branded a terrorist or an associate of al-Qaeda, ISIS, or the latest enemy in the perpetual War on Terror. Lindsey Graham definitely would tell him to shut up and then send him to Gitmo.

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