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Future tense, VIII: Enter totalitarian democracy
On the difficulties of making law in the modern world.
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I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.” The speaker was Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court. These, therefore, were astonishing words.
The authority over American law enjoyed by Justice Ginsburg and her colleagues on the Court owes solely to the existence of the U.S. Constitution, complemented by the high court’s proclamation that it has the last word on how that Constitution is to be construed. That latter power grab traces its roots back to Chief Justice John Marshall’s legendary 1803 opinion in Marbury v. Madison. Marshall “emphatically” declared it “the duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” Despite naysayers from Jefferson to Lincoln, who thought that judicial supremacy would eviscerate popular sovereignty, Marshall&r ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 April 2012, on page 4
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From a series of letters regarding Andrew C. McCarthy's review of American Betrayal (The New Criterion, December 2013)
There's a little-known loophole in the Constitution that will allow states to get America back on course.
The is at once straightforward and immensely complicated legacy of the anti-Nazi theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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The story of cotton reveals that America's problematic history with race is just as much a northern problem as a southern one.
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