• Articles

    Does the NSA Violate Your Constitutional Rights? | Learn Liberty

    Many people don’t know what their constitutional freedoms are or why they have them in the first place. They’ve gotten so used to the freedoms they’ve enjoyed as Americans that they haven’t noticed just how rare and fragile they really are. Before America’s founding, the British king George III would issue what were called general warrants, which empowered local authorities to look for wrongdoing anywhere and to use their discretion to find any kind of treasonous behavior, including among the people that would come to be our Founders. But this became such an abuse of dictatorial authority that after the Revolutionary War a prohibition on general warrants was written right…

  • Warning: More Excuses to Take Your Rights
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    Warning: More Excuses to Take Your Rights

    Taking away rights because some people abuse them is dangerous. Every time someone uses a gun to commit a crime, you’ll hear gun control supporters claim that new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are “necessary.” They don’t care that criminals don’t follow the law, and they don’t care that they’ll be attacking an essential tool of self-defense. Their view is extremely dangerous. But they’re not alone. Lately, a small, but very vocal, minority of conservatives have been complaining in much the same way about nullification. They tell us that nullification is bad because as they say it, “sanctuary cities are nullification.” Their view is also very…

  • “The Structure of Government” by Ayn Rand
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    “The Structure of Government” by Ayn Rand

    mr. n I don’t know exactly how to start off on this I guess it is a rather broad topic but what would you say is the most valuable political system valuable from what ten point you really should mean what is the right or the proper political system since political systems are man-made in a matter of human choice the question should be what is the right political system is net what you mean yes for capitalism of course total uncontrolled less a fair capitalism which means a separation of state and economics well isn’t when we speak of political systems we usually think of capitalism as an economic…

  • “Enforce the Law,” But Only if it Doesn’t Violate the Constitution
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    “Enforce the Law,” But Only if it Doesn’t Violate the Constitution

    We recently released a report showing that our Second Amendment president has actually ramped up enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun laws when you compare him to gun-grabbing President Obama during his last year in office Well, we got a lot of hate mail for that one. Of course, a lot of it was just silly. Typing, “That’s B.S.,” in all caps isn’t really an argument. But several people brought up something more substantive saying the president has to enforce the law no matter what. One guy said if the president starts picking and choosing which laws to enforce, it will “break the system.” Now look – considering virtually everything the…

  • Constitution 101: Immigration vs Naturalization
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    Constitution 101: Immigration vs Naturalization

    Did you know there is a difference between immigration and naturalization under the Constitution? Most people assume that the federal government has complete control over immigration. This is partly due to the fact that they confuse immigration and naturalization. In fact, they are two very distinct things. The Constitution delegates to the federal government the power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization,” but it does not expressly delegate any power to regulate immigration. Both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson said the individual states have the power to regulate immigration and to deal with any foreigners within their borders. Madison insisted the only time the federal government could deport a…

  • Episode 111: Building a Better Government (with Richard A. Epstein)
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    Episode 111: Building a Better Government (with Richard A. Epstein)

    Trevor Burrus: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute. I’m Trevor Burrus. Aaron Ross Powell: And I’m Aaron Powell. Trevor Burrus: Joining us today is Richard Epstein, the Lawrence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law and the Director of the Classical Liberal Institute. He is the author of many important books including Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain and Simple Rules for a Complex World. His most recent book is The Classical Liberal Constitution. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Richard. Richard Epstein: It’s great to be here. Trevor Burrus: I would like to start with a broad question. There are many…

  • The Role of Economic Liberty in the United States
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    The Role of Economic Liberty in the United States

    We’re very excited and, and honored to have uh the acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission here with us today. She’s a good friend to the organization, also a good personal friend. I’ve known her for years. She served at the commission for 11 years, that was sort of mentioned or alluded, alluded to by Senator Cruz, and became a commissioner in 2012 before being designated to serve in her current position in January of this year. Chairman Olhausen is an expert in privacy and trade law and before working for the commission she was an adjunct faculty at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University where she…

  • Episode 139: The Philosophical Foundations of the Constitution (with Roger Pilon)
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    Episode 139: The Philosophical Foundations of the Constitution (with Roger Pilon)

    Aaron Powell: Welcome to Free Thoughts from Libertarianism.org and the Cato Institute, I’m Aaron Powell. Trevor Burrus: And I’m Trevor Burrus. Aaron Powell: Joining us today is our colleague Roger Pilon, he’s the Vice President for Legal Affairs and founding director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. Welcome to Free Thoughts, Roger. Roger Pilon: Thank you, good to be with you. Aaron Powell: The First Amendment reads, in part, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” So we’ve got those words written down, how do we know what they mean? Roger Pilon: We look at the text as a start and if that…

  • Articles

    There’s not Enough Gold? Nonsense!

    Some people believe that we can’t use sound money because they’re supposedly “not enough gold.” But they couldn’t be more wrong. Claims that gold can’t be used as money because there’s not enough of it reveal a fundamental misunderstanding. There’s always enough metal to support the money supply. It’s just a question of price. While it would be impossible to support the economy at the current price per ounce, the market would simply re-price the metal higher to make the system workable. Some people estimate a gold price between $9,000 and $10,000 per ounce would do the trick for a worldwide gold standard. This might sound like a lot, but…

  • Centralized Power is the Problem, not the Solution
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    Centralized Power is the Problem, not the Solution

    Whenever you give government power to do something you like, you’re also giving your opponents the power to do the opposite. Sometimes people tell us we are missing opportunities to expand liberty by insisting on decentralization of power, and refusing to turn to Washington D.C. for solutions. They tell us that sometimes we need federal power to keep States from violating our rights. For instance, a lot of conservatives have put their faith in federal courts to protect our gun rights from strict state regulations. Others will point to successes, such as the Supreme Court decision that struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. Every once in a while, the…