The federal government has once again failed to appropriately regulate its own behavior, with an Idaho federal judge ruling in favor of the constitutionality of the NSA’s spying program.Details
Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion in Bond v. United States has been sharply criticized (see here and here), so I’ll say few words partially in its favor. The case has seemed odd from the beginning because the federal statute at issue implements the Chemical Weapons Convention and (as the majority says) the local misuse of household chemicals does not seem the type of activity that is likely to implicate an international treaty.Details
Chief Justice Roberts Again Rewrites Law, Avoids Duty to Hold Government’s Feet to the Constitutional Fire
Bond was a case about the scope of the treaty power—can Congress do something pursuant to a treaty that it can’t otherwise do?—and yet the majority opinion avoided that discussion altogether in the name of a faux judicial minimalism.Details
If you think a handful of unelected, unaccountable politically-connected lawyers are the only ones who can determine what’s constitutional and what’s not, you prefer the Iranian system of government to the Constitutional government of the Founders.Details
Georgetown University Law Center professor Randy Barnett nailed it in a short post on the Volokh Conspiracy Blog this week.
Much as I believe that the NSA bulk data seizure program is unconstitutional because it is an “unreasonable” general warrant, the preferable remedy would be a congressional fix. Moreover, I agree that we should never count on the courts to save us.
Barnett crams a lot of truth into a single sentence.Details
NDAA indefinite detention powers rermain in full effect after the Supreme Court refused to even listen to the Hedges v. Obama case challenging their constitutionality.Details
Today, it is commonly accepted that the U.S. Supreme Court has the sole and final say as to whether or not a federal law is constitutional (after it winds through the lower federal courts). Recently, for example, the Court upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional under the auspices that the individual mandate is a tax. This commonly accepted notion is wrong.Details