Our nation was founded on the fundamental democratic principle, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, that the only legitimate form of government is one that derives its "just powers from the consent of the governed."
Celebrate Liberty Month - Debate, Discuss and Decide
The Federalist Society and The Washington Times celebrate Liberty Month with a collection of essays every day covering principles to preserve freedom, the separation of governmental powers and the Constitution.
Our Constitution is a "republican" constitution, designed to protect individual liberty, rather than a "democratic" one that privileges the will of the majority.
When governments regulate private property, there is always a risk of abuse and corruption.
The protection of private property rights was one of the Founding Fathers' main goals in establishing the Constitution.
The Supreme Court recently decided to hear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that asks the Court to overrule its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
Next fall, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Friedrichs v. California Teachers' Ass'n.
In a little-noticed corner at the intersection of technology and policy, big changes are underway that could have a profound impact on the Internet as we know it.
As the list of candidates entering the 2016 presidential ring continues to grow, so does the "to do" list of policy priorities for pro-growth conservatives.
In this age of accelerating technology, there is no more important policy than to encourage innovation. Innovation is the primary source of economic growth.
As Congress appears to be rushing towards a massive "patent reform" bill, inventors, entrepreneurs and defenders of Intellectual Property are becoming increasingly concerned about the direction of the debate.
At 10:00 a.m. on every day when the Supreme Court is in session, the Justices proceed to their chairs while the Court's Marshal proclaims:
Religion and politics are not a good mix. As history repeatedly teaches us, combining the two spheres harms religion and endangers politics.
We inhabit an age of staggering civic illiteracy. Exhibit A: Just 36% of Americans can name all three branches of government. Exhibit B: 35% can't name a single one. As George Washington famously tweeted, "I can't even."
The Constitution guarantees us the right to choose our own rulers. For our choice to be meaningful, we need free access to all types of speech: information, debate, and argument.
Although the First Amendment unequivocally states that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" it has long been understood that compelling interests sometimes allow the government to restrict speech.
Among those who decry the levels of money being spent on elections, the villain is almost always Citizens United, which unleashed corporations and permitted them to make unlimited independent expenditures in support of or in opposition to candidates for elected office.
Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land—and that's a good thing.
What should the government do about people who have strong and sincere conscientious scruples against obeying generally applicable and democratically enacted laws?
In its first decade, the Roberts Court has been very protective of freedom of speech, except when the institutional interests of the government are at stake.
Chief Justice Roberts' recent words for a unanimous bench reflect his Court's protective regard for free speech rights.
What has your state attorney general done for you recently? If he or she isn't keeping an eye on whether the federal government is overstepping its bounds, you may want to start paying closer attention to what your AG is doing.
In 1998, coordinated Medicaid recoupment litigation against the tobacco industry by over forty state attorneys general, working with private contingency fee law firms, resulted in a landmark $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement with marketing restrictions on tobacco products.
Having repeatedly criticized the "over-criminalization" of otherwise legitimate business activity at the hands of Congress and national-level enforcement agencies, I may seem an unlikely choice for defending an important role for the federal government in addressing crime.
Police power is necessarily political, but should not be partisan. "Police" and "politics" derive from the Greek word "polis," a body of citizens constituting a city-state.
The United States is in the midst of an energy revolution caused by a new technology for extracting oil and gas from shale deposits called "fracking."
Choking on life-threatening pollution, hundreds of millions of Chinese long for effective environmental laws like we enjoy in the United States.
Who has the power to set the ground-rules for national elections, such as how congressional districts are designed each decade, whether you have to provide documentation proving your citizenship before registering to vote?
One of the rights we should celebrate (and cherish) during Liberty Month is freedom of speech.
Forget the familiar refrain "Washington is broken! We must fix the gridlock." Past fixes to gridlock have broken Washington.
Our Constitution was drafted in 1787 "in Order to form a more perfect Union" -- both more perfect than the British tyranny and more perfect than the flawed Articles of Confederation.
On July 11, 2014, Representative Jim McGovern rose on the House floor in support of a resolution to prohibit President Obama from going to war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant absent specific authorization from Congress.
If Congress could produce a bipartisan resolution expressing strong support for U.S. participation in an effective effort by the world community to bring an end to the barbarity of the so-called "Islamic State," that could prove helpful in several ways.
Separation of powers as a tool for limiting discretionary official power is the foundation stone of our Constitution and the rule of law.
On July 4, many Americans turn their thoughts to the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, looking for wisdom to guide today's great political controversies.
"All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
In two opinions handed down minutes apart last month, Justice Antonin Scalia first dissented "to call attention to [the Supreme] Court's threat to American democracy" in its invalidation of state bans on same-sex marriage.
In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court invoked its awesome power of judicial review to legalize gay marriage throughout the nation.
Because the U.S. Constitution is dedicated to liberty through limited government, power is divided between the federal and state governments and separated among the three branches of the federal government—the purpose in both cases being to pit power against power in order to check it.
"Stare decisis" makes it harder for judges to change the law.
Constitutional concepts like free speech or the right to bear arms are ingrained in our popular culture, but just 36% of Americans can name all three branches of the federal government.1
As the world celebrates the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, we should remember that the true origins of our modern democratic political world lie not in Runnymede, but right here in the United States.
American exceptionalism -- and America is exception -- is a result of the Scottish Enlightenment, the waves of immigration that built the colonies, and, most importantly, the Constitution.
Eight hundred years and a few weeks ago, a group of rebellious barons forced King John of England to agree to a "Great Charter" limiting his royal power.
America is the planet's wealthiest and most powerful nation.
The Obama administration's single achievement in foreign affairs policy is its wholesale retreat from American exceptionalism.
Ours is the only nation on earth to define itself and the rights of its citizens based not on blood or land, but rather on adherence to a document: the Constitution.
The Federalist Society offers memorable quotes from the Founding Fathers to help celebrate Liberty Month.