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Patrick Henry

Everything That Could Be Done

Two hundred forty years ago, the situation was dire. In the Virginia Colony, not too far from where I live, representatives to the Second Virginia Convention were debating the problems they were having with their “masters” in Britain — and the more dangerous, violent situation that was developing to the

African Slaves

Slavery and Racism, Yesterday and Today

On Sunday, I marked an awful event in our history: The official beginning of chattel slavery as such in Britain’s American colonies. At first, John Casor, an African indentured servant, had gained some control of his life. He charged his master, Anthony Johnson, a free black, with having forced him

Racial Justice Advanced (Paul Jacob on the leading thinker on race today)

Racial Justice Advanced

don’t know if Juan Williams is right about who qualifies as America’s most influential thinker on race. But I hope he is. In a Friday Wall Street Journal op-ed, Fox News’s liberal-leaning political analyst and author of Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (1998), argues that our country’s most important influencer of

Manly Firmness

“Is repealing the Affordable Care Act an issue of manhood?” asks Alan Rappeport in the New York Times. He’s referring to the “macho language” in a resolution introduced recently in Jefferson City, Missouri, by State Rep. Mike Moon. Moon’s House Resolution 99 decimates the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in

Dead Document?

Could it be? We do not live under the Constitution of the United States. The document has been a dead letter for a century, maybe longer. Ours is a Post-Constitutional America. Surely, there have been great moments of executive usurpation. Andrew Jackson, in defiance of the Supreme Court, and against

Principled, and Un-

Can one “rise above principle”? Aren’t most (all?) who think they “rise above principle” actually sinking below it? Economist David Henderson called our attention to this notion in reference to legal theorist Richard Epstein’s call for a war against ISIS. On AntiWar.com, he challenged Epstein’s support for the president’s war

Thieves With Badges

Civil forfeiture is the government practice of taking property from citizens without due process, but while pretending that it’s all above-board. When police say they suspect a crime, they can impound property associated with that crime. “Civil forfeiture” is the legal legerdemain: instead of suing the owner, the government sues

The Right to Remain Recording

Every once in a while, a judge makes a judgment so sensible, it’s as if he had this Common  Sense column in mind. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund Brennan has determined that the same right to video-record police in public also applies within a would-be videographer’s home. The case involves a

Abridge Too Far

Sick and tired of “too much money” in politics? Worried the average citizen’s voice is being drowned out? Thirty-six Democratic U.S. Senators have just the thing: a re-write of the First Amendment. They’ve co-sponsored a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Senate Joint Resolution 19. “We would give the power

Spring’s Decisions

Spring is in the air, and old men’s hearts turn to thoughts of . . . law. Yes, Supreme Court Decision Season has begun. Yesterday, two decisions were handed down. In Schuette v. BAMN, Justice Kennedy “announced” the decision to reverse a previous court’s determination overruling a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment

Fifth Dimension Feds

I like the Fifth Amendment. I took it myself in 2007 when Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson was witch-hunting with his grand jury. My attorney advised that I had more to fear from innocently misstating something and being vindictively charged with perjury than from the ridiculous indictments the AG would

Stopping “Stop and Frisk”

It doesn’t seem at all surprising that New York Mayor Bloomberg supports both his unconstitutional anti-Big Gulp paternalism and his now-overruled “Stop and Frisk” police state nastiness. It’s “for our good,” not any wise dedication to principle, that he wants to prevent us from drinking big sugary sodas, and “for

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