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Next ObamaCare Challenge: The Origination Clause

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” – U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 7

04/06/2015
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Michigan v. EPA: What’s Cost Got to Do with It

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Michigan v. EPA, a case that will decide whether the EPA properly decided to regulate mercury pollution from power plants. The problem with the regulations is that by the EPA’s own estimates they will cost $9.6 billion annually and have only $4-6 million in direct benefits. The issue before the Court will be whether the EPA must consider costs when deciding to regulate mercury emitted by power plants.

03/26/2015
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King v. Burwell: A Literal or Nonliteral Reading of the Text

It is difficult to predict how the Supreme Court will rule in any case it takes up, even after oral arguments; King v. Burwell is no different. It is probably safe to assume that Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas will rule for the petitioner (King) and that Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayer and Kagan will rule for respondent (Burwell), but it is difficult to judge which way Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Kennedy will rule. This being said, oral arguments still brought some interesting insight from the Court.

03/09/2015
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First Amendment Rights: License Required

Should one need to obtain a license to speak on public sidewalks about the history and architecture of an area? Or does the First Amendment protect our free speech rights from prior restraints, such as licensing requirements? According to a short opinion in Kagan v. City of New Orleans, which lacked any in depth legal reasoning, the Fifth Circuit ruled a license can be required to give guided tours of New Orleans for pay.

02/20/2015
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Authorized to Steal

If you own a house or car, they are your property. If you produce cabinetry or quilts, they are your property. If you produce raisins, they are your property and cannot be taken by the government without just compensation, right? Not according to a decision by the Ninth Circuit.

02/11/2015
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Obamacare: Time to Change the Batter

If you try to bake a cake, but after looking at a recipe you notice you made multiple mistakes in the batter, the best idea is usually to start over from scratch. If you used three eggs when the recipe called for two, a tablespoon of salt when the recipe called for a teaspoon and a chocolate mix but you find out a guest is allergic to chocolate, it is best to start over. Rather than try to pull an egg out of the batter, pick out the excess salt and sift the chocolate mix out, you should throw out the batter and make a batter that will actually work for the cake. This principle also applies to laws passed by Congress.

02/03/2015
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The Fourth Amendment is NOT a Useless Piece of Paper

This title was adopted from a line by Justice Sotomayor during the recent Supreme Court oral arguments in Rodriguez v. United States. Over time there has been an encroachment on our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches, as Justice Sotomayor also said, “. . . we can’t keep bending the Fourth Amendment to the resources of law enforcement.” It is time for the courts to push back and protect our constitutional rights. Fortunately, two recent cases, one at the Supreme Court and another at the circuit level, have given great opportunities to do just this.

02/02/2015
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“Free” Federal Money is Never Free

While the federal government often entices states to promote its agenda by promising “free” federal money for the states that adopt their programs, this money is never free, and always comes with strings attached. When the federal government offers “free” money for a program it is really just hoping to get the states hooked on the program before the giveaways disappear, much like a drug dealer who offers you the first hit for free.

01/28/2015
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Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar: Free Speech is Worth Full Protection

While we may not agree with all speech we come across, it is important for liberty-minded individuals to defend all constitutionally protected speech. If we do not protect speech that we may not agree with, or that is of limited importance to us, there will be fewer people willing to defend speech that we care deeply about. Also, once the Supreme Court rules some speech can be restricted and still withstand constitutional scrutiny, it becomes easier for the Court to rule other speech can be restricted as well.

01/26/2015
"As Economy Stalls, Democrats Remain Out Of Touch With Voters"
"According to a Gallup poll, economic problems dominate in the question of the most important problem facing the nation today. This makes the priorities championed by Democrats all the more puzzling. "
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As Economy Stalls, Democrats Remain Out Of Touch With Voters

Economists are now reporting what we all know already - America's economic growth has ground to a halt. Wednesday's report from the Commerce Department was bleak. The expected growth in GDP was 1.1%, but the Commerce Department is now reporting a rate of growth of only 0.1%. This has been felt for a long time by average Americans. According to a Gallup poll, economic problems dominate in the question of the most important problem facing the nation today. This makes the priorities championed by Democrats all the more puzzling. As we struggle to sustain an economic recovery that has been charitably described as "choppy", Democrats continue to push an agenda that is out of touch and fails to solve the underlying problems.

04/30/2014

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