• A Republic
    Articles,  Blog

    A Republic

    The Framers emerged from four months of secrecy with the first national Constitution ever put to paper. Well, Dr. Franklin, what have you given us? Well, sir, a republic, if you can keep it. For the first time in history, men invented a government. But what kind of government was it? I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands… That’s right. A republic. There had been republics in the past, and it was assumed that we would have a republic of some form here. And that republic would be structured so as to prevent the majority from oppressing…

  • Constitutional War Power: The Founders’ Framework
    Articles,  Blog

    Constitutional War Power: The Founders’ Framework

    Lord Acton had the wonderful aphorism, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So when I think of government, I think you’ve got a kind of a double level danger there, ’cause you’re taking people who are themselves flawed, and in any situation will exercise those flaws, and then you’re putting them into a sense, a position in which they have all this power around them. (music) What our founders, you know, if you look at kind of the American Revolution, it was very much a focus on limiting what they saw as dangerous power. And they were focused on the power of the king, because Great Britain…

  • Constitutional War Powers: Executive Authority in the War on Terror [POLICYbrief]
    Articles,  Blog

    Constitutional War Powers: Executive Authority in the War on Terror [POLICYbrief]

    I think the September 11th attacks would meet most everyone’s definition of war. The thing that’s hard about 9/11 is not the kind of attack that it was, but who carried them out. The threat of terrorism is a different kind of threat. A small group of people can launch attacks within the United States in ways that we couldn’t detect or stop. The difficulty is that terrorism, because it’s not a state, the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms, they don’t have cities, population, territory to defend … they seem to look more like criminal gangs sometimes than an enemy’s armed forces. The Framers would have known that you could have…