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  • The Necessary and Proper Clause Grants Congress No Power0

    • June 1, 2015

    In a recent post, I pointed out that, despite superficial appearances, the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause—clarifying that Congress has authority to make laws “necessary and proper” to carrying out its other enumerated powers—actually grants Congress no power. The Necessary and Proper Clause is representative of one of four related kinds of provisions found in

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  • Evidence on the Powers the Constitution Leaves Exclusively to the States0

    • May 18, 2015

    This column also appears at CNSNews. The Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. But has anyone listed the exclusive powers of states—the realm the federal government may not invade without violating the Constitution? When discussing state authority, the Founders usually pointed out only that the federal government’s powers were, as Madison said, “few

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  • Chief Justice John Marshall: Not the Big Government Guy You Might Think0

    • February 22, 2015

    Chief Justice John Marshall (in office 1801-1835) is often identified with an expansive “big government” interpretation of the Constitution. Fans of big government cite him as an ally; opponents as an enemy. This view of Marshall is a caricature. It is true that Marshall was a Federalist—he occupied a place on the political spectrum of

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