Can the Federal Government Ban Anything?

Even though it is true that the government currently bans all kinds of things, I am asking a serious question. Let me expand and clarify it. Is the federal government authorized by the Constitution to make illegal the possession of any substance that it deems it to be harmful, hazardous, immoral, addictive, threatening, damaging, injurious,…


Julian Ku on the Constitution and the Iran Deal

At Opinio Juris, Julian Ku defends the constitutionality of the Iran deal (expanding on his discussion in this podcast from the National Constitution Center [also featuring David Rivkin]). He makes two arguments: First, the terms of the agreement, which describe its obligations as “voluntary”, indicate that it is a nonbinding “political commitment”.  Even the UN Security…


Two Reasons the Iran Deal Is Unconstitutional

In sum, the Iran deal is unconstitutional (a) because the President has not taken sufficient action to assure that it is nonbinding under international law, and (b) even if it is nonbinding under international law, it should be only a commitment of the current President and should not purport to be an undertaking of future Presidents for whom the current President cannot speak.


The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation

By James P. Allen

What role does the Declaration have in constitutional interpretation, if any?

When it comes to understanding the meaning of the Constitution, many Americans don’t give the Declaration of Independence the first thought. But some argue that as the founding American document, everything hangs on it, and we must interpret the Constitution exclusively through the Declaration. They view the Constitution and the government it created as a mechanism through which we realize principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence. 


Delegated and Reserved Powers: Nullification Opponents Flip the Constitution Upside Down

For over a year, we’ve repeatedly heard from supporters of an organization called Convention of States Project​ that nullification can’t or shouldn’t be done because – “Nullification….is not in the Constitution.”

We’re not sure why this particular message comes from this direction, but it’s consistent, and common.

More important, though, this is a great example of the complete and utter lack of constitutional education in this country.


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…


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…