You here the word term “constitutional crisis” thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean? I was recently part of a documentary project put together by the Federalist Society that chronicles three historical constitutional crises and what they teach us.


The documentary titled “What Is a ‘Constitutional Crisis’?” features not only me, but also friend of the Tenth Amendment Center, Professor Kevin Gutzman, along with Professor Robert L. Tsai from American University.

We discuss the “Nullification Crisis” of 1832-1833, the presidential succession crisis after the death of Pres. William Henry Harrison, and the election controversy of 1876.

Each of these events reveals important lessons for today. In my view, the most significant insight is the importance of following the Constitution every issue, every time, no exceptions, no excuses. Most “constitutional crisis” arise when people fail to follow the Constitution.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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