Category Archives: Federalism

Why Liberals Hate The Original Constitutional Scheme

Constitution, Egalitarianism, Europe, Federalism, Founding Fathers

Liberals disapprove of the brilliant men “who wrote America’s constitution,” you know, the geniuses of the pale patriarchy.

Yes, concedes the Economist, the Senate was devised “to represent places, not people, and there is a case for that; other constitutions, such as Germany’s, look to ensure regional representation in their upper house.”

So far, so good.

But liberals want heavily populated cities and city slickers—they vote Democrat—to drown out rural people, who vote Republicans. So, for ensuring that “the largest states do not dominate the rest,” the Senate is considered bad by liberals. “[T]he constitution provides equal representation for all the states, large and small alike. This builds in an over-representation for people in small or sparsely populated places.”

That liberals can’t abide.

But for the electoral college liberals, who’re ignorant of any political theory other than egalitarianism, reserve the ugliest terms.

The “electoral college,” writes the Economist, is as system “that America’s founders jury-rigged in part to square the needs of democracy with the demography of slavery.”

Come again?

See: “The minority majority: America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats,” July 12th 2018.

UPDATED (7/10): Kavanaugh Questions

Constitution, Federalism, Justice, Law, The Courts

Brett Kavanaugh, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has been nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh comes from Administrative Law—was he good at fighting the Deep State?—was appointed and recently praised by George W. Bush, who gave us John Roberts, and George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, who approved of Neil Gorsuch, suggests Kavanaugh is not an intellect of Gorsuch’s order.

For his part, libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R­–Mich.) is openly unhappy. He tweets:

Kavanaugh is not another Gorsuch—not even close. Disappointing pick, particularly with respect to his 4th Amendment record. Future decisions on the constitutionality of government surveillance of Americans will be huge. We can’t afford a rubber stamp for the executive branch.

Randy Barnett, on the other hand, approves.

I don’t know that libertarians want “big fierce nominees,” but I see what Turley, an interesting thinker himself, is saying in the must-read op-ed, “Why ‘big fierce’ nominees are rare.”

An original thinker is always a good thing (and how few of those there are).

Supreme Court nominees. Most are not especially remarkable in their prior rulings or writings. They are selected largely for their ease of confirmation and other political criteria. Big fierce minds take too much time and energy to confirm, so White House teams look for jurists who ideally have never had an interesting thought or written an interesting thing in their increasingly short careers. … The last nominee was a remarkable departure from this judicial ecology rule. As I testified at his confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch was an intellect of the first order with a long list of insightful and provocative writings as both a judge and an author. …The history of Supreme Court nominations is largely one of planned mediocrity. The influential legal minds of a generation often are avoided for more furtive minds. … There is a difference between fierce ideology and fierce intellect. Many on the list of 25 judges stand out for commitment to conservative values but are not particularly distinguished in contributions to legal thought. Most fall closer to the mold of Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, as opposed to Antonin Scalia and Gorsuch.

Confirmations tend to reward young lawyers who avoid controversies to advancement on the Supreme Court.

Jonathan Turley cites Richard Posner and Robert Bork as examples of “big fierce minds,” which simply could not be countenanced on the mediocrity-necessitating SCOTUS.

Brilliant piece. Turley is brilliant.

UPDATE (7/10):

John G. Roberts Jr.? Please no.

‘What If Democrats Win Enough Seats In Congress To Override A Presidential Veto’?

Democrats, Elections, Federalism, Government, Labor, Welfare

The Conor Lamb victory in Pennsylvania raises the fear that, “When the mid-terms roll round, [Democrats] would win enough seats in Congress to override a presidential veto.

Democrats far from the seats of power and from Nancy Pelosi’s orbit are looking to appeal to regular Americans, namely the Trump constituency.

* Duly, Lamb is “a former marine and federal prosecutor.” (Used to be the armed fores were squarely in the conservative camp.)

* Mr Lamb campaigned at rallies with unions, such as the steelworkers, the coalminers at a United Mine Workers.

* “Mr Lamb promised to protect pensions of union members as well as Social Security and Medicare benefits for all.”

* “Lamb was ‘a God-fearing, union-supporting, gun-owning, job-protecting, pension-defending, Social-Security-believing … sending-drug-dealers-to-jail Democrat,’ enthused Cecil Roberts, the union boss. The Democrats need more like him.”

MORE: “Conor Lamb has shown Democrats how to win in places they usually lose.”

The Importance Of Executive Orders In A Post-Constitutional Order

Constitution, Donald Trump, Federalism

An idea developed in my book, “The Trump revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016),” rests on the importance of Executive Orders in a post-Constitutional order. Steve Bannon seemed to hold a similar view. An excerpt from Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff:

Bannon’s strategic view of government was shock and awe. In his head, he carried a set of decisive actions that would not just mark the new administration’s opening days but make it clear that nothing ever again would be the same. He had quietly assembled a list of more than 200 executive orders to issue in the first 100 days. The very first EO, in his view, had to be a crackdown on immigration. After all, it was one of Trump’s core campaign promises. Plus, Bannon knew, it was an issue that made liberals batshit mad.

Bannon could push through his agenda for a simple reason: because nobody in the administration really had a job. Priebus, as chief of staff, had to organize meetings, hire staff, and oversee the individual offices in the Executive-branch departments. But Bannon, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump had no specific responsibilities — they did what they wanted. And for Bannon, the will to get big things done was how big things got done. “Chaos was Steve’s strategy,” said Walsh.

On Friday, January 27 — only his eighth day in office — Trump signed an executive order issuing a sweeping exclusion of many Muslims from the United States. In his mania to seize the day, with almost no one in the federal government having seen it or even been aware of it, Bannon had succeeded in pushing through an executive order that overhauled U.S. immigration policy while bypassing the very agencies and personnel responsible for enforcing it.

The result was an emotional outpouring of horror and indignation from liberal media, terror in immigrant communities, tumultuous protests at major airports, confusion throughout the government, and, in the White House, an inundation of opprobrium from friends and family. What have you done? You have to undo this! You’re finished before you even start! But Bannon was satisfied. He could not have hoped to draw a more vivid line between Trump’s America and that of liberals. Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?

“Errr … that’s why,” said Bannon. “So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.” That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.

MORE.