Posts Tagged ‘constitutional law’

“National Constitution Center’s ‘Interactive Constitution’”

Recommended by Eugene Volokh, the National Constitution Center’s “Interactive Constitution“. Its description:

On this site, constitutional experts interact with each other to explore the Constitution’s history and what it means today. For each provision of the Constitution, scholars of different perspectives discuss what they agree upon, and what they disagree about. These experts were selected with the guidance of leaders of two prominent constitutional law organizations — The American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society.

The writers include many familiar names and every contribution I’ve read so far, on both sides of questions, has been of high quality.

Cato’s Constitution Day Sept. 17

Sasha Volokh reminds us to mark our calendars:

Cato’s 14th Annual Constitution Day event will be two weeks from now: Thursday, September 17, at Cato’s offices in Washington, D.C. Here’s a link to the site, so you can register. I’ll be on the 2:15-3:30 panel on “Bizarre State Action”, talking about the Amtrak case that I’ve been involved with — see here for links to my previous blogging on the subject. Tim Sandefur and Adam White will be on that panel with me.

Co-bloggers Jonathan Adler and John Elwood will also be on different panels, as will Walter Olson, Bill Eskridge, and others. Steven Calabresi will give the evening lecture on “Liberty and Originalism in Constitutional Law”.

George Will on the Indian Child Welfare Act

“Identity politics can leave a trail of broken bodies and broken hearts… [ICWA treats] children, however attenuated or imaginary their Indian ancestry, as little trophies for tribal power.” George Will (alternate link) on a law I’ve also written about, the Indian Child Welfare Act:

The act empowers tribes to abort adoption proceedings, or even take children from foster homes, solely because the children have even a minuscule quantum of American Indian blood. Although, remember, this act is supposedly not about race….

In final adoption hearings in Arizona, a judge asks, “Does this child contain any Native American blood?” It is revolting that judicial proceedings in the United States can turn on questions about group rights deriving from “blood.”… This is discordant with the inherent individualism of the nation’s foundational natural rights tradition, which is incompatible with the ICWA. It should be overturned or revised before more bodies and hearts are broken.

Save the date, Sept. 17: Cato’s Constitution Day

Mark your calendar for Sept. 17 when Cato will be holding its 14th annual Constitution Day reviewing the past Supreme Court term and looking forward to the next. I’ll be on a 1 p.m. panel on civil rights with William Eskridge (Yale) and Roger Clegg (Center for Equal Opportunity), moderated by Roger Pilon, where I’ll be talking about religious accommodation in the workplace; other sessions will include such well-known figures as Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Michael Cannon of Cato, Jonathan Adler of Case Western, Timothy Sandefur of PLF, and Damon Root of Reason. The annual B. Kenneth Simon Lecture will be given by Prof. Steven Calabresi of Northwestern.

Register at the link to attend in Washington, D.C., or plan to watch online.

“Future generations” lawsuit against fossil fuel use

When a legal action is “first of its kind,” sometimes that’s because it’s a lawyer-driven gimmick. [MSNBC via Constitution Center; ABA Journal]

P.S. As several readers point out, it’s unlikely that lawyers claiming to represent the interests of future generations of Americans will be allowed into court any time soon to challenge the continued expansion of federal government debt.

Republican debate observations

“Cross-examination is the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” a great legal scholar once wrote. Fox News proved it — and generated a superior, entertaining debate — by aiming genuinely hard, personalized questions at the Republican front-runners. We know more now about which candidates are heedless of liberty and the U.S. Constitution, ill-prepared or inconsistent. Would that the press were this tough on all candidates.

I live-tweeted it last night and here are a few highlights, in earliest-to-latest chronological order:

More 140-character commentary on the debates, including the one earlier this week, at this link. And more from Cato colleagues.

Ida Wells, free speech, and the rule of law

I write at Cato about the accomplishments of Ida Wells (1862-1931), who after being born into slavery in Mississippi became the leading voice documenting the horrors of lynch law in late nineteenth century America, as well as a free speech heroine (a mob in Memphis attacked and destroyed her printing press). Wells is also the subject of today’s Google Doodle. And as I learned from Nicholas Johnson’s post last year at Volokh, she was a notable figure in the history of the Second Amendment as well.

Goldwater Institute files constitutional challenge to ICWA

Live now: The Goldwater Institute has filed a multi-sided challenge to the operation of the Indian Child Welfare Act. AD v. Washburn; website at; investigative report Death on a Reservation; Goldwater policy paper. More updates will follow.

Our earlier coverage here, in my writing at Reason and Cato, etc.

Related: in Minnesota, a Twin Cities couple represented by attorney Mark Fiddler has filed suit saying that ICWA violates their constitutional rights by requiring that they notify the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe before proceeding with plans to allow a non-Indian couple to adopt their infant. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune] Also: Johnston Moore, Children Deserve Families.