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August 21, 2020

Shall we have a king?

January 1787, America’s top diplomat, John Jay, asked George Washington, its leading citizen, “Shall we have a King?” Neither Jay nor Washington were optimistic about the fate of the American republic under the Articles of Confederation, given its decentralized structure and feeble powers. After winning the war for independence against Great Britain, the United States appeared incapable of governing themselves as one …

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July 12, 2020

It’s not just the presidency: Trump is changing the Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump isn’t just changing the presidency during his first term in office. He’s also changing Congress. More than perhaps any president in modern history, Trump has been willing to ignore, defy and toy with the legislative branch, asserting power and breaking norms in ways his predecessors would hardly dare. Republicans shrug it off as Trump being …

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September 25, 2019

Return All Legislative Power to Congress

I would call the attention of every American—not just every politician, not just every judge, but every single citizen—to the first word of the first sentence of the first paragraph of the first article of the Constitution: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress.”

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June 28, 2019

Supreme Court decision keeps ‘Auer deference,’ which strengthens power of government regulators

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to overturn a precedent that strengthens the power of government regulators in a closely watched case that could have broad ramifications for federal agencies. The precedent is known as “Auer deference,” after the 1997 case Auer v. Robbins. Since Auer, the Supreme Court has held that courts should defer to agencies’ interpretations of their …

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May 24, 2019

Let Texas be Texas: A solution for our polarized nation

Texas and Massachusetts are very different states. For starters, one of them could fit inside the other 25 times (not that we’re counting). Ideologically, Massachusetts residents have tended to support much higher levels of government control, leading the state to enact an ObamaCare-style system years before ObamaCare was forced on states like Texas by the federal government.

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May 22, 2019

Welcome back, federalism — Dems begin to champion state’s rights

Not all unintended consequences are bad. One consequence of the election of President Donald Trump is that blue states and progressives find themselves keenly interested in the age-old debate about federalism. But as one writer noted for Vox.com in 2016, “it doesn’t have to be your father’s (or grandfather’s) federalism.”

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December 3, 2018

In frog habitat ruling, justices rightly hold agencies accountable

Administrative law is an arcane subject, but determining when and how courts review agency decision-making tremendously affects Americans’ day-to-day lives and freedoms. A ruling issued last week by the U.S. Supreme Court strikes a blow for individual liberty and gives citizens new safeguards against administrative agency abuse. In Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the court ruled unanimously …

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October 15, 2018

The Republican Attack on California

For the past 60 years or so, the Republican Party has declared itself the true party of decentralized government, the founding vision of federalism and what are sometimes called states’ rights. Whether its pious declarations were ever actually about more than securing Southern votes or limiting the rights of women and minorities has always been questionable, but at least in …

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July 25, 2018

Connecticut Joins Lawsuit To Protect State, Municipalities From Unlawful Restrictions On Federal Public Safety Grants.

Connecticut has joined a coalition of states in filing a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions challenging efforts to put unlawful and unconstitutional immigration-related conditions on federal law enforcement grants, Attorney General George Jepsen and Governor Dannel P. Malloy said today. In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the …

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