A More or Less Perfect Union: Balances of Power

A More or Less Perfect Union: Balances of Power

Think of the Congress as the giant. You cut the giant in half that gives you bicameralism. Two chambers of Congress. The House of Representatives and the Senate. One of the major reasons why we have two is to create an additional hurdle for passing a law. This was a finely wrought and deliberately difficult […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: 9th and 10th Amendments

A More or Less Perfect Union: 9th and 10th Amendments

The Ninth Amendment, not too many people are familiar with. Basically, what it says is, “this list of all these rights are not the limits of your rights. You have un-enumerated rights as well.” Oh I like that one actually. Because imagine somebody gave you the task of listing every single individual right that you […]

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A More of Less Perfect Union: 2nd Amendment

A More of Less Perfect Union: 2nd Amendment

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, The right of the people to keep and bear arms Shall not be infringed. Shall. Not. Be. Infringed. Today, “militia” means the National Guard – but not in colonial times. Back in the late 18th century, militia was understood to include every single […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: Freedom of Speech

A More or Less Perfect Union: Freedom of Speech

We have so many examples around the world, where we have totalitarian regimes. Freedom of speech, I think, speaks to our core values. True totalitarian government wants to control your speech and your ideas and your mind. That’s why that zone has to be protected for anything else to be protected. “Congress shall make no […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: Freedom of Religion

A More or Less Perfect Union: Freedom of Religion

Disagreements about religion had been the causes of war in Europe through most of the 16th and 17th centuries. The great trauma of European history was the religious carnage that led to newer and newer forms of torture and of slaughter, all in the name of God. Six of the Thirteen Colonies were settled by […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: Checks & Balances

When it came to writing the Constitution, the Framers’ great concern was with the concentration of power in any one branch, which would inevitably lead to tyranny. As usual, Madison had a solution. Madison came to the Constitutional Convention, with something under his belt that was called the Virginia Plan. Might we call it a […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: Inalienable Rights

“All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” I think that’s one of the most important sentences in the English language. And then the next sentence of the Declaration says, “To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” And […]

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When Free Speech Gets You Arrested: Kellogg Community College | ADF Case Story

When Free Speech Gets You Arrested: Kellogg Community College | ADF Case Story

– This is the story of an American college student, Michelle, and her two pals, Nathan and Isaac. At first glance, Michelle, Nathan, and Isaac seem like ordinary people. They work hard, they study, and they hangout with their friends. But, Michelle, Nathan, and Isaac aren’t ordinary people. Because ordinary people haven’t been arrested and […]

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A More or Less Perfect Union: Compromising on Slavery

A More or Less Perfect Union: Compromising on Slavery

The Constitution of the United States was a constitution for mainly white men. Of the 55 delegates at the convention in Philadelphia, almost half of them owned slaves at some point in their lives. Although many had moral qualms about slavery, few freed their slaves. Even the Founder who declared, “all men are created equal,” […]

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