Category Archives: Constitutional Law

Churches and Zoning: An Interesting Clash

I read an interesting article that brought together my concerns both about zoning and land use and religious freedom issues.  It seems the City of Palo Alto, California, quite a nice place to live it is said, and the home of the elite Stanford University, is “cracking down on churches” that allegedly violate its zoning laws.  In an article from CBSSFBayArea, at http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/07/27/palo-alto-neighborhood-churches/, it is reported that city officials in Palo Alto have ordered a the First Baptist Church to… Continue Reading ››

Civil Asset Forfeiture: A “Criminal” Action

Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF) is back in the news as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an expanded Federal program just the other day.  I was extremely surprised and disappointed in his announcement.  Like other Federal forays (and in this case, state), the CAF program has been so abused by law enforcement that it must be reined in by the courts or by the Congress, or both.  Now notice it is called Civil Asset Forfeiture.  That does not mean the assets… Continue Reading ››

SCOTUS Gets Religious Liberty Right–For Now

The issue seems paltry at first glance. A preschool/daycare affiliated with a church applies for state funding to help with some playground improvements. The goal of the Missouri program is to put recycled tires to good use. Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center’s application for the funding was judged to be fifth out of forty-four applicants, but was ultimately denied on religious grounds. According to the Missouri Constitution, “…That no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly… Continue Reading ››

Sharia Law Protests: The Truth About Sharia

It has been reported that today (June 19m 2017) has been set aside for protests around the nation against Sharia law, the legal system used in most Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent.  The principles for Sharia are derived from both the Quran and Hadith, the alleged sayings of Muhammed and have been more or less systematized into various schools of legal thought (five to be precise), all having significant overlap.  There are a number of groups today… Continue Reading ››

The Obergefell Legacy in Constitutional Interpetation

Howard  Slugh had an interesting article in the National Review Online on April 10, entitled “Obergefell’s Toxic Judicial Legacy.”  At the time the case was decided (2015) I wondered whether the language used by Justice Kennedy establishing a right to homosexual marriage might be used to claim other new rights not mentioned in the Constitution and barely even imagined at the time.  I remember that a few others shared my concern.  It now appears my and others’ fears are beginning… Continue Reading ››

The New Executive Order: “Here Comes the Judge”–Again

Once again a Federal district court judge has issued a nationwide Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting enforcement of the president’s new executive (EO) order temporarily suspending entry into the United States of non-citizens living outside the United States for a period of 90-120 days, with waivers possible for defined exceptions.  The EO identified six nations as targeted by its provisions.  The reasons stated were the possibility or likelihood that these nations were producing or would produce terrorists.  I have reproduced… 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 ››

Trump Comes Through for Evangelicals

The most important moment of the 2016 presidential campaign happened on February 13, 2016. There were no primaries or caucuses and no one entered or dropped out of the race. Instead, on that day, the world learned of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on a ranch in Texas. What was an important election against a historic foe quickly turned into a fight for the future of the Supreme Court. Scalia’s death gave progressives an opportunity to switch the Court ideologically, while… 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 ››

Buried in Red Tape and Administrative Law

I am just getting around to reading a book I have meant to read for over a year, Is Administrative Law Unlawful? By Philip Hamburger (University of Chicago, 2014).  Besides, this is also a good time to raise the whole issue of administrative rulemaking, regulations and judicial hearings, something that in the last 70 years has become more than just common, but pervasive.  Here in DC of course we are pretty close to it physically, but it affects all citizens… Continue Reading ››