Constitutional Issues

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government...

-- U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficient. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasions of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

-- Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

-- James Madison

  Essential U.S. Founding Documents:
The full text of The Declaration of Independence. The Declaration can be seen as the philosophical basis for the American form of government.

A User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence

The full text of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution can be seen as the implementation of the principles found in the Declaration of Independence. Other copies of this document can be found here and here.

The full text of The Federalist Papers. This is a collection of essays written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in 1787 and 1788 arguing for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

The AntiFederalist Papers. This is an uncoordinated collection of essays from various authors who criticized the proposed Constitution. Interestingly, some of the criticism was based on the idea that the proposed Constitution did not do enough to restrain the federal government. Some of the Federalist Paper essays were themselves responses to some of the concerns raised here. These works don't get the same circulation that the Federalist Papers do; check them out and see if any of their concerns had merit.'s Constitutional Challenge

A comparison of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution with the Communist Manifesto.

General Interest:
The Constitution Society
Encyclopedia Americana Constitution page
The Federalist Society
National Archives Constitution page
U.S. Constitution Resource Center

Second Amendment:
Gun Owners of America

Unconstitutional Theories "Justifying" Gun Control -- A 1995 essay by GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt. While this essay focuses on how the federal government has usurped the power to ban and regulate guns, it is also an excellent general discussion on the constitutional limits to federal power.

National Rifle Association

Second Amendment Foundation

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO)

JPFO disputes the claims of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) regarding the threat of the militia movement. JPFO asserts that the greatest threat to Jews (and to all law-abiding people) is governments that "go bad".

NRA "dissident" Neal Knox's Firearms Coalition

Notable quotes regarding the right to keep and bear arms. 

Do you have a right to police protection? The answer may surprise you.

How the media might have portrayed an earlier militia movement.

The U.S. Constitution's infamous "commerce clause"
The "commerce clause" is Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution: [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among [i.e. between] the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. Congress uses this clause as a justification for virtually every law that they pass, and the Supreme Court is usually unwilling to challenge the Congress. So what exactly is the power granted to the Congress under the "commerce clause"? Read The Federalist #42 to find out. The writers of the Constitution really did not intend to write the Congress a blank check!

Property Rights
American Land Rights Association
Defenders of Property Rights
FEAR -- On the evils of "asset forfeiture" laws
Kangaroo Rats v. Farmers
Property Rights Congress of America

Miscellaneous Usurpations:
Those who signed the Declaration of Independence certainly seemed to believe that the principles contained therein were worth dying for. Do you think they might have had similar convictions about a Constitution that (today) essentially means whatever a five-person majority on the Supreme Court says it means, no more, no less?

Not Yours to Give, an account of a story from around 1830, when Col. Davy Crockett was a congressman. 

The film WACO: The Rules of Engagement and its sequel continue to shock and dismay wherever they are seen. We don't want to believe that our government is capable of atrocities like this, but the evidence continues to overwhelm our disbelief.

A Cato Institute study discovers that the reason so many choose welfare over work is that in many cases welfare pays better.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to be in the pension business. Is it worth the effort to privatize Social Security? According to these Cato Institute studies, the answer is definitely Yes. Cato has also set up a separate website dedicated to genuine Social Security reform.

Your tax dollars at work. And this is the same government that the Clinton administration wanted to be in charge of every health care decision that you make!

09/09/95 AP Story. In upholding the "background checks" provision of the Brady Law, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals missed the point entirely. (Note: On June 24, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the background checks portion of the law. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia said, "The federal government may neither issue directives requiring the states to address particular problems, nor command the states' officers ... to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.")

Larry Burkett on the national debt and our government's spending practices.

How much the federal government spent on social programs in 1994., Matt Blaze's cryptography page. Good resource on Carnivore, the FBI's Internet snooper.

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