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Taking Rights Seriously

"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

Beware a government of fear

"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

Freedom in a time of madness

"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

Can the government restrict travel to protect public health?

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

Repeal the Patriot Act

I have been writing for years about the dangers to human freedom that come from government mass surveillance. The United States was born in a defiant reaction to government surveillance. In the decade preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the villains were the Stamp Act and the Writs of Assistance Act. Today, the villain is...Read more

Punishing the free speech of Julian Assange

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech." -- First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

In the oral argument of the famous U.S. Supreme Court cases known collectively as the Pentagon Papers Case, the late Justice William O. Douglas asked a government lawyer if the Department of Justice views the "no law" language in ...Read more

The curious case of Roger Stone

Roger Stone is a gifted political consultant known for going the distance for his clients. He has worked for such marquee names as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Tom Kean and Donald Trump. His expertise is the lawful destruction of the opposition candidacy -- what is known in the trade as opposition research. In that process, he has made enemies,...Read more

A primer on Domestic spying

"The Framers ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone -- the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men." -- Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

While we were all consumed by impeachment, a pernicious piece of legislation was slowly and silently making its way through Congress. It ...Read more

Acquitted but not exonerated

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." -- George Orwell, "1984"

The Senate trial of President Donald Trump ended not with a bang but a whimper. What different outcome could one expect from a trial without so much as a single witness, a single document, any cross-...Read more

A primer on the separation of powers

The president of the United States is on trial in the Senate. It is an impeachment trial and, thus far, has consisted of remarks made by impeachment managers from the House of Representatives, who have argued that the president should be removed from office for abuse of power and contempt of Congress, and the president's lawyers, who have argued...Read more

What does it take to remove a president?

I don't blame President Donald Trump for his angst and bitterness over his impeachment by the House of Representatives. In his mind, he has done "nothing wrong" and not acted outside the constitutional powers vested in him, and so his impeachment should not have come to pass. He believes that the president can legally extract personal ...Read more

Truth is always the first casualty of government violence

When witnesses testify in a courtroom and offer varying, contradictory or even unlawful explanations of the events under scrutiny, juries tend not to believe them. The same is now happening with the Trump administration's defense of its killing Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani by the use of an unmanned drone while he was being driven ...Read more

Trump cut down the laws to get to the Devil

"America ... goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." -- President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

Last week, President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to invade a then-friendly country without the knowledge or consent of its government and assassinate a visiting foreign government official. The victim was the head of Iran...Read more

 

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