Federalism

Re: Congress Lacks a Constitutionally Granted Power to Define Marriage

By Justin Katz | July 10, 2010 |

As Andrew’s post on Judge Tauro’s ruling concerning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) proves, conservatives will find a great deal of intellectual meat in the development — setting principles of federalism against a traditional understanding of marriage. I’ll have more to say on the issue in days to come, but for the moment, discussion…

Massachusetts District Court Says that Congress Lacks a Constitutionally Granted Power to Define Marriage

By Carroll Andrew Morse | July 9, 2010 |

In a decision issued yesterday, the Federal District Court for Massachusetts overturned a portion of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for reasons including the violation of the Tenth Amendment and Congress lacking an enumerated basis for defining marriage, in the case of Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services. Section 3 of…

The Constitution and Contracts

By Carroll Andrew Morse | May 24, 2010 |

One of the places that my quest for the sources of receivership law in Rhode Island has led me to is the Federal Constitution, Article I, section 10…No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and…

Does the Concept of Enumerated Federal Powers Matter? Democratic Attorney General Candidates Say Sometimes it Does, Sometimes it Doesn’t

By Carroll Andrew Morse | April 7, 2010 |

Do not believe that they mean it, when local Democrats tell you that the Tenth Amendment has no meaning, or at least no meaning relevant to modern government, or that the Constitution means only that the Federal government cannot do anything expressly forbidden to it. The actions of a couple of statewide Democratic office seekers…

The 10th Amendment Rally: Mark Zaccaria and Robert Healey

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 29, 2010 |

At this past Saturday’s 10th Amendment rally in Providence, I had a chance to ask some quick questions to the statewide and semi-statewide candidates who attended. I asked Mark Zaccaria, Republican candidate for Congress in Rhode Island’s Second District, about the difference between running two years ago, when people were saying American capitalism was dead,…

The 10th Amendment Rally, the Limits of Government, and the Bounds of Discussion in the Public Square

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 28, 2010 |

I was late to yesterday’s 10th Amendment rally held on the front steps of the Rhode Island Statehouse because – I kid you not – I had to finish putting my income tax information together for a meeting later in the day, so the samples of audio linked below represent targets of opportunity I was…

The Constitutionality Proof Is Worse than the Pudding

By Justin Katz | March 27, 2010 |

Ed Fitzpatrick’s column, yesterday, suggests that the healthcare law, including the individual mandate, is constitutional, but one needn’t be as far right as Anchor Rising to be very concerned about the reason: The Supreme Court has held that Congress “can tax for any legitimate reason, and certainly providing health care for all Americans is a…

Are We Entering the Re-education Zone?

By Justin Katz | March 18, 2010 |

Perhaps it’s too easy to be the naysayer in a place like Rhode Island, but something about this good news: Legislation approved by the General Assembly on Tuesday and signed by Gov. Donald L. Carcieri later in the day raised the limit on charter schools in Rhode Island from 20 to 35, a key part…

How Centralized Education Could Turn Ugly

By Justin Katz | March 17, 2010 |

Right now, public education is such an expensive catastrophe that top-down imposition of standards and reasonable organizational principles is an attractive option. But there’s a very dark side to the impulse, hints of which can be found here: Governors and education leaders on Wednesday proposed sweeping new school standards that could lead to students across…

The Federal Strings That Bind

By Justin Katz | January 16, 2010 | Comments Off on The Federal Strings That Bind

In my December column for the Rhode Island Catholic, I included federal spending among the mechanisms whereby we’re losing local — and therefore overall — control of the shape of our government. Neil Downing points out just such a deal with the Devil with respect to unemployment insurance: Rhode Island has a chance to obtain…