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To the Republic: Rediscovering the Constitution

To the Republic: Rediscovering the Constitution

About the project

In her nearly 250 years of independence, America has endured brutal wars, catastrophic natural disasters and ravaging economic depressions. Through every challenge, she has survived because of a singular focus on the founding principles that launched one of the greatest experiments in human history and that tested the very boundaries of the capabilities of man.

Can a free people govern themselves?

Today, America faces a crisis unprecedented in her history. Not that we are more hopeless than we were during the frozen winters of the Revolution. Not that we are more riven than during the Civil War. Not that we live with a greater injustice than slavery. Not that we are more frightened and hungry than we were during the Great Depression. Not that we are more outraged than we were after 9/11.

What makes this troubling time unlike any other is the full-scale assault — from the criminal class to the highest levels of governmental power — on the very principles of our Founding. The simple yet powerful ideas of equal justice under law, of self-governance, of rights given by a Creator, not a man or a king, and of freedom of speech and religion have come under open attack from every level of society.

So the time now is ripe to revisit those principles. Remind ourselves how the Founders grappled with every question. Test their answers. Reevaluate their thinking for a modern world that, at least on the surface, looks different from the ink-quilled days when those principles were set to parchment and made into history.

The Washington Times has laid that challenge at the feet of some of the country’s pivotal thinkers. Each week in the coming months, we will present their findings and arguments to you as we rediscover the Constitution.


Recent Stories

United States armored unit moves north into Cambodia, 10 miles north of Katum base in South Vietnam. Unit is 2/47 Infantry, A-Company, the first to cross the border into Cambodia on May 1, 1970, following orders from U.S. President Richard Nixon to search out Communist High Command Headquarters. (AP Photo/Henri Huet) ** FILE **

War Powers Resolution should be repealed

With the possibility of a more interventionist foreign policy approach looming, questions will inevitably resume over which branch of government actually is responsible for sending U.S. troops abroad.

Immigrants who have entered the United States illegally are giving more congressional representation to districts where they live while taking it from citizens elsewhere. (Associated Press)

Illegal immigrants shouldn't be included in congressional count

The House of Representatives, otherwise known as the "People's House," was designed by the Framers to be the body of the federal government most sensitive and receptive to voter opinion. That's why almost all members represent fewer voters than senators do, and it's why each member represents as equal a number of constituents as is possible and practical.

Give power back to the states, as Founders envisioned

With the Democrats holding a slimmer-than-expected majority in the House and a 50-50 split in the Senate, the next two years will represent an almost equal tug of war between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

What is the purpose of a Senate impeachment trial?

The Senate is starting a most unusual impeachment trial. For only the second time in its history, it is likely to proceed to trial to consider articles of impeachment against a former government official.

The United States Capitol building, east front, at dawn is seen in this general view, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)  **FILE**

States must stand up to feds to stop poaching of their power

The word "federalism" does not appear in the Constitution, yet it is the guiding principle that preserves the United States from the defects of unitary governments, like Great Britain, in which all power flows from one central government, and the defects of confederation, in which power is dispersed and consequently attenuated beyond usefulness.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in an undated file photo. (Associated Press photograph)  **FILE**

Invoking 25th Amendment would set dangerous precedent

The "To the Republic" series has primarily addressed the original Constitution rather than the subsequent amendments. However, there has been much discussion of the suddenly popular 25th Amendment during the Trump administration, particularly since last week's riot at the Capitol.

Biden should renegotiate Iran nuclear deal as a treaty

Most Americans believe that the Senate ratifies treaties, but that is the president's function and is one of many brilliant checks and balances in our system of government, as noted by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers.

American republic in danger as power seeps out of Congress

Before republics fall -- from ancient Rome to modern America -- their legislatures show signs of dysfunction. They avoid tackling the tough challenges facing their societies, defer to other branches of government, and fail in their basic obligation to represent the popular will.

"Today, it is clear to us that Congress has ceded many of its powers and responsibilities to unelected bureaucrats in regulatory agencies," writes Andrew R. Wheeler, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. (Associated Press)

Vanishing Congress cedes too much power to regulators

If the Founders came to Congress tomorrow and saw the diminished role the legislative branch plays in the function of the federal government -- the degree to which the legislature really is vanishing -- it would be a mystery to them.

Far-left threatens minority rights

The Constitution, as solid as it is, ultimately relies on those who make and execute the laws to do so faithfully and with good intention.

Men are subject to powerful passions and appetites and, if unrestrained, are capable of ruthlessly riding roughshod over their neighbors and the community at large. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Founders gambled on virtue prevailing over passions

In his renowned 1785 pamphlet "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments," James Madison described religious liberty as not only "a right towards men" but also "a duty towards the Creator," and a "duty ... precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society."