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Judicial Reform

The judicial branch of government has overstepped its bounds and increasingly ignores the precepts of common law.

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Know the legal system and its impact on the economy.

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Blog

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.

5 days ago
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Blog

Time for the Court to Address the Growth of the Administrative State

We have too long abrogated our duty to enforce the separation of powers required by our Constitution. We have overseen and sanctioned the growth of an administrative system that concentrates the power to make laws and the power to enforce them in the hands of a vast and unaccountable administrative apparatus that finds no comfortable home in our constitutional structure. The end result may be trains that run on time (although I doubt it), but the cost is to our Constitution and the individual liberty it protects. – Justice Clarence Thomas from his concurring opinion in Dep’t of Transportation v. Ass’n of American Railroads

03/13/2015
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Blog

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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Op-ed Placement

Don’t blame King v. Burwell for ObamaCare’s failures

The King v. Burwell Supreme Court case, beginning oral arguments in March with a likely ruling by the end of June, is stirring up considerable controversy among those who pay attention to health care policy. The key to the case is whether the federal government can offer insurance subsidies to states that failed to set up insurance exchanges as directed by the law. If the Court finds for the plaintiffs, the subsidies—currently being handed out by the IRS—will stop, revealing just how expensive ObamaCare has actually made health insurance.

03/04/2015
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Op-ed Placement

The IRS Can't Write Its Own Laws

If you think Obamacare is a disaster now, just wait until the courts enforce the law as it was actually written. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case of King v. Burwell, the appeal of a decision that allows the IRS to implement health care subsidies in states that did not set up insurance exchanges.

03/03/2015
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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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Blog

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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Blog

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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