"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." -- Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
Colonial America was filled with summer soldiers and sunshine patriots who wanted...Read more
The governors of all 50 states, and the mayors of many large cities, have assumed unto themselves the powers to restrict private personal choices and lawful public behavior in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
They have done so not by enforcing previously existing legislation but by crafting their own executive orders, styling those ...Read more
What if the government has it wrong -- on the medicine and the law?
What if face masks can't stop the COVID-19 virus? What if quarantining the healthy makes no medical sense? What if staying at home for months reduces immunity?
What if more people have been infected with the virus in their homes than outside them?
What if there are as many ...Read more
"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
To Thomas Jefferson, the fulcrum between the people and the government they have elected was fear. He argued succinctly that the government would only respect liberty if it feared losing power. ...Read more
I have been taking some heat from friends and colleagues for my steadfast defense of personal liberties and my arguments that the Constitution -- when interpreted in accordance with the plain meaning of its words, and informed by history -- does not permit the government to infringe upon personal freedoms, no matter the emergency or pandemic. ...Read more
When Francis Scott Key wrote the words "the land of the free and the home of the brave" in 1814, he did so in a poem called "The Defense of Fort McHenry." The battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore was a decisive one in which Americans truly demonstrated bravery and fought for freedom.
This was the War of 1812, the origins of which are lost to ...Read more
The loss of liberty is at hand.
Every day in America, mayors and governors -- not one of whom is constitutionally or lawfully empowered to author laws and assign punishments for their noncompliance -- are imposing new standards of behavior that nullify liberty in the name of public safety.
I have been writing about this since the COVID-19 ...Read more
During the past month, as Americans have been terrified of the coronavirus, another demon has been lurking ready to pounce. It is a demon of our own creation. It is the now amply manifested inability of elected officials to resist the temptation of totalitarianism. And it is slowly bringing about the death of personal liberty in our once free ...Read more
That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves. -- Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
When American colonists were oppressed by governance from Britain, the word most frequently uttered in pamphlets and editorials and sermons was not "safety" or "taxes...Read more
"If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned." -- Justice George Sutherland (1862-1942)
In his 2008 book "Taking Rights Seriously," the late professor Ronald Dworkin explored the origins and governmental treatment of human liberty. He argued that Thomas ...Read more
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
One of my Fox colleagues recently sent me an email attachment of a painting of the framers signing the Constitution of the United States. Except in this version, George Washington -- who...Read more
"The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances." -- Ex parte Milligan, U.S. Supreme Court (1866)
During the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln thought it expedient to ...Read more
The issue of whether government in America can quarantine persons against their will, ostensibly for their own health and that of others with whom they may come in contact, requires a dual analysis -- one of the powers of the federal government and the other of the powers of the states. For constitutional analysis purposes, since local and ...Read more