Making the Supreme Court Safe for Democracy

supreme_court_building

This next conversation is with Joshua Hawley, a former clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri, about the arc of power exercised by the Supreme Court since the passage of the 14th Amendment. In one sense, we understand directly what the Antifederalist Brutus once opined about its potentially unlimited powers. The Court, Brutus informed, would be the most dangerous branch because its judges "are independent of the people, of the legislature, and of every power under heaven." Of course, criticisms of the Court's activism are now part of…

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Friday Roundup, March 8th

This month's Liberty Forum features a lead essay by the sage of Malibu, Gordon Lloyd, on the constitutional liberty of the Antifederalists. Excellent responses from Adam Tate and Ken Masugi follow and greatly add to the discussion. That's right, capital 'A' because as Lloyd argues they are coherent and relevant. We need their wisdom now more than ever. "The constitutional impediments to the completion of the Progressive national democracy project actually rest on promoting the Antifederalist rather than the Federalist features of the Constitution and Bill of Rights." Lloyd disentangles our understanding of the Antifederalists from the scholarship on the…

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Federalism, Congressionalism, and an Appeal For a Renewed Constitutional Morality

Why are we still talking about federalism in 2012?  Wasn’t it mortally wounded with the passage of the 16th and the 17th Amendments?  At least, that is what I hear a lot of Conservatives moaning about.   Surprisingly, then, we are still talking about federalism.  And, I trust, doing something about it.  Here is a preliminary answer to the question about the fate of federalism: federalism is a conservative principle that over the last 100 years has restrained the development of the Administrative State. My mind wanders to the Progressives with their national prohibition of intoxicating liquors, FDR’s New Deal spiritual crusade against Mammon and “the money changers in the temple,” LBJ’s Great Society “war on poverty,” and our current national debate over individual health care coverage.  These various Prohibitionists are very spiritual and remind me of the spiritual Colonialists and their love of good government to make us good people.  Good government is also big government.

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