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  • What should you remember when drafting a constitutional amendment?0

    • October 16, 2016

    Last month, Citizens for Self Governance sponsored a simulated convention for proposing amendments in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was an adviser for the project, and just before the initial meeting I spoke to the assembled commissioners. My purpose was to provide them with some last-minute tips on drafting proposed constitutional amendments. Several people have asked me

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  • What Connecticut’s Authorizing Documents Tell Us About the Constitutional Convention—and About Modern Misinterpretations0

    • October 10, 2016

    On May 11, 1787, the Samuel Huntington, the governor of Connecticut, addressed his state legislature about the pending Constitutional Convention. Shortly thereafter the legislature adopted a law governing Connecticut’s participation in the gathering—the eleventh state to do so. (Only Maryland acted later.) The governor’s remarks, and the ensuing legislative resolution, illustrate the following: * The

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  • Who Called the Constitutional Convention? The Commonwealth of Virginia0

    • October 7, 2016

    In interstate convention practice a “call” is an invitation for state representatives to meet at a particular time and place to discuss certain designated issues. During the Founding Era, convention calls were issued by the Continental and Confederation Congresses, by prior conventions and—most frequently—by individual states. In rare instances the call might be the product

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  • Could Congress Control an Amendments Convention? Not According to the Founders!0

    • October 5, 2016

    As we move closer to holding a “convention for proposing amendments” to restrain federal overreach, naysayers have not been silent. One of their claims is an amendments convention would be fruitless or dangerous because it could be controlled by Congress. The Constitution directs Congress to “call” an amendments convention when two thirds of the state

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  • Originalist Research Guide Updated0

    • October 2, 2016

    Scholarly investigation into our Constitution’s actual meaning—or, more precisely, into the Constitution’s legal force immediately after adoption—commonly is called “originalist” research. Until fairly recently, the quality of originalist research was fairly low. Most of it was conducted by law professors with little background in historical method or in founding-era language or social conditions. Moreover, most

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  • First Amendment Protection is for More Than Political Speech0

    • September 9, 2016

    This article was first published in CNS News. The modern U.S. Supreme Court grants more First Amendment protection to political discourse than to other forms of expression, such as commercial advertising. The court holds that political discourse enjoys a “preferred position.” The preferred position doctrine is taught in the nation’s law schools, so many lawyers

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