Category Archives: Constitutional Issues

What is Going On in the Surveillance World?

What a morass we have now with regard to the allegations, refutations, and counter-allegations concerning the possibility of intelligence community “wiretapping” of Donald Trump or his associates before the election and after it.  At this point, we have an allegation by President Trump that Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower.  Now before people go off on Trump prematurely, let me say that the word “wiretapping” is the commonly used popular term for any kind of “spying” or surveillance.  Trump was not… Continue Reading ››

Executive Order in the Court

A Federal judge in Washington State today issued an injunction preventing the enforcement of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO)halting immigration and entry programs from seven nations for 90 and 120 days respectively.  I have already written about my own response to the EO as a policy matter and also said something about a Christian response or responses.  Now however, the question has shifted to the legality of the order. Let’s go through what is the very early stages of this… Continue Reading ››

Executive Orders and “Extreme Vetting”

President Trump issued a very broad executive order yesterday, banning immigration for up to 120 days, and including so-called “Green Card” holders, holders of permanent visas.  This order was effective immediately and almost immediately protests erupted.  Moreover, several Federal judges have issued temporary injunctions against the order’s application to certain individuals.  Political types on roughly the same side of the spectrum have disagreed—Libertarians seem to be dead set against it, while Conservatives appear in general support.  Finally, Christians are coming… Continue Reading ››

A Real-Life Story of Bureaucratic Dysfunction

If you want to read a classic insider narrative of the degeneration and dysfunction of a large and powerful (and unlimited) federal bureaucracy, read here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443227/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-tragic-failures.  The article chronicles the work of one highly placed lawyer in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  before it was slapped hard by the Federal courts. I have frequently written about what can and does occur when Constitutional limits are ignored.  This is all too frequent, given the propensity of Congress to simply give up its… Continue Reading ››

Bureaucracy and the New President

I was reading an interesting article in Reason today that directly addressed one of the major issues I have raised before and frequently alluded to (see http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/19/trump-versus-the-we-bes, December 20, 2016).  It has to do with the theme of “Trump versus the bureaucracy.”  One could substitute any president’s name in that slogan since the 1930s at least.  This is the crucial question: How does a president or his cabinet or his political appointees actually control the huge Federal agencies and make… Continue Reading ››

A Really Bad Legacy, and How to Reverse It

President Obama and his executive agencies set a new record for the number of pages of new regulations in one day: 527 pages (in a single day!).  For the year the number of pages so far is also a record, at 81,640 pages.  It is also worth noting that seven of the the top eight spots for number of pages of new regulations are held by the Obama administration:  2010, 20111, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  This data comes from… Continue Reading ››

Earmarks, Pork and the Meat Axe: Time for Action

Today Representative John Culbertson (R-Texas) pulled (that is, withdrew) a bill that would have made changes to the earmark ban the House imposed earlier.  An earmark is basically an addition to a bill that includes some kind of project or spending for the congressman’s home district.   It is a rider.  And normally, it constitutes “pork barreling” designed to get that representative re-elected.   So when I first read the headline that the bill was proposed by Culbertson, I thought, well, here… Continue Reading ››

California Dreamin….of secession?

Progressives are continuing their refusal to recognize reality, as protests continued yesterday in major cities.  To be fair, both sides enjoy pointing out they hypocrisy of their opponent’s ideological views.  Yet I can’t help but smile in sadness at the almost infantilization of our progressive youths today.  It was just 8 days ago that we heard the remonstrations towards Mr. Trump and his supporters, that he and they commit to respecting the outcome of the election.  But now that the… Continue Reading ››

Why? And What Now?

At about 3 AM last night we were informed that Donald Trump would be our 45th president.  My daughter photographed the screen and we all went to bed.  But now the next phase in all this process begins: governance–which is very different from winning a campaign.  Before I get to that, let me say a few words about why I thought this might well occur.  I am not a professional pollster–right now, that is a really good thing, as I… Continue Reading ››

“God save the…Country”: The Courts and Brexit

I just felt the need to make a quick comment on the recent ruling by a Court holding that the Brexit vote was not valid without a vote by Parliament.  This was a very odd ruling for several reasons, the most interesting being that the British government is not at all structured like ours.  Despite the statement by the judge that the Brexit process violated clear constitutional principles.  Well, there is no written constitution for Great Britain (and never has… Continue Reading ››