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Shortcircuiting Consensus

A political system, along with such supportive traditions as the rule of law and loyal opposition, is supposed to be a durable fixture on the political landscape and ought not to be changed lightly. It should be amended only when a favorable consensus can be achieved, and if that consensus is not forthcoming, then the constitution remains as it is. Continue Reading »

Sixth Circuit Sanity

It was a relief to read the measured, intelligent analysis of Judge Jeffrey Sutton. He wrote the majority opinion for a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel. It determined that state laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman do not violate the U.S. Constitution. Continue Reading »

Richard Posner’s Delusions

The Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals put out its ruling on same-sex marriage yesterday. A unanimous three-judge panel declared that Wisconsin and Indiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage (misdescribed by the press as a “ban”) is unconstitutional. Continue Reading »

I Know What Judicial Activism Is

. . . because Matt Franck schooled me on it years ago, in a 2006 NRO piece : Activism, I think, can be pretty neutrally defined as the wrongful use of the power we call judicial review. (Not its wrongful non-use, though . . . ) I don’t agree with Franck down the line on con-law (although . . . . Continue Reading »

Liberty, Rights, and Judicial Activism

Conservatives, postmodern and otherwise, often discuss the difficulties associated with the sometimes promiscuous assignment and declaration of rights in political discourse today. If we look at the American founding narrowly from the perspective of its Lockean influence, it’s easy to see the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Future of the End of Democracy

If you want to know why the United States is in a constitutional crisis, a good place to begin thinking about it is the series of outrages perpetrated by the 1992 Supreme Court decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the outcome, though not the reasoning, of the infamous abortion . . . . Continue Reading »

To Reclaim Our Democratic Heritage

The symposium on the judicial usurpation of politics has generated an intense debate about many things, as is evident in the above responses, in the letters section of this issue, and in the many commentaries appearing in other publications. Obviously, this is a debate that will continue. William . . . . Continue Reading »

Polygamy, Peyote, and the Public Peace

No one should be surprised that decisions of great constitutional moment are sometimes occasioned by cases that seem trivial or exotic. Those who are threatened by the majority sentiment of the moment appeal to the Constitution, although not always successfully. There was, for instance, the 1879 . . . . Continue Reading »

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