FDR, the Constitution, and Obamacare

  What on earth does FDR — an early 20th century President — have to do with 21st century health care issues like Obamacare?  More than you might think. FDR laid the groundwork for American expectations that the federal government could intervene in matters such as health care.  He did this despite language to the contrary […]

Getting History Right

As a nation, we are often too ill-informed on our own history.  This is really unfortunate, because we need this knowledge if we are to be a successful self-governing people.  An informed people can be in charge of its government.  An uninformed people drifts along, too easily controlled by its government or the media. A few years ago, I […]

What would George Washington (not) do?

Apparently, some legislators in N. Carolina want to reserve their right to establish an official state religion. They state that the First Amendment is a restriction only on the federal government and not on the state governments. I generally agree that the Bill of Rights was ratified as a restriction on the federal government, not […]

Give me liberty or give me death!

Today is the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous line: “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”  In the audience were such figures as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  Many credit Henry’s speech with sparking the American Revolution. The full speech can be found […]

February 5, 1937: FDR’s Court-Packing Plan & the Demise of States’ Rights

On February 5, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a plan to change the composition of the Supreme Court.  He had been stymied by a Court that steadfastly refused to approve many of his New Deal measures.  He was determined to get around the Court and to get his measures approved. The Supreme Court had […]