The Constitution’s Week in Review – 5 March 2016

The Constitution’s Week in Review – 5 March 2016

Article 2. Natural Born Citizen Clause (to be continued until it is definitively settled).

Ted Cruz survived another legal challenge over his NBC status. An Illinois suit was dismissed by the judge on a technicality: the petitioner, Lawrence Joyce, had failed to properly serve Cruz and members of the Illinois State Board of Elections, as required by law.  Suits in Alabama, Texas and New York continue.

Article 3. Replacing Scalia

It appears that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley is sticking to his guns on no confirmation hearings for any Scalia replacement until after the election. The President’s ploy, of floating the name of Eighth Circuit judge Jane L. Kelly, an Iowa resident like Grassley, will die on the vine. Senator Grassley gave a key address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this week in which he pointed out some of the freedoms that would be imperiled were a liberal allowed to replace Scalia, specifically 1st and 2nd Amendment rights would be on the chopping block. Meanwhile Organizing for America is marketing a lovely line of “Don’t Be A Robe Block” T-shirts. Get it?

In somewhat related news, the death of Justice Antonin Scalia appears to have been a catalyst; for the first time in 10 years, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (may he live forever) asked, not just one, but several question from the bench, startling most court watchers.

As this article points out, replacing Antonin Scalia could signal the start of “a ferocious battle for ideological control of the U.S. Supreme Court that could drag on for years.” It will be so because the American people have sat back and allowed the Court to become the preferred instrument for social change in this country, definitely not what the Founders intended. As the article makes clear, the next President will likely have the opportunity to replace several Justices and thus set the political tone of the Court for 20-30 years. Fight’s on.

Seventeenth Amendment

As I’ve said in numerous essays, if we want to restore the balance of power that existed in Congress when the Constitution was put into operation in 1789, we must repeal the 17th Amendment. Senator Zell Miller tried to get a repeal amendment passed in the Senate each year he served, to no avail. Antonin Scalia was in favor of repeal. Now Utah has come out in favor, passing a resolution urging the state’s congressional delegation to push for an amendment. They face an uphill battle. Marshaling widespread support for repeal will be difficult; the Left, enamored by democracy and direct elections, will fight tooth and nail; and most Americans in the center don’t care enough to learn what all the fuss is all about. The 18th Amendment was recognized as a bad idea and repealed; we should repeal another bad one.

 Constituting America 90-Day Study

I hope everyone continues to enjoy Constituting America’s 90-Day Study. As the writers traipse though the history of presidential elections, they are about to leave the era of the Founders with the reelection of Founding Father James Monroe in 1820. Did you notice that instead of reading the essays you can also listen to them being read? Here’s the current one.

Upcoming Events.

Constitution Seminar for adults – 26 March. Mark your calendars; I’ll be holding a Constitution Seminar for adults on Saturday, 26 March from 9am to 6pm here in York County, VA. Space will be limited. Cost is $30 per adult, which gets you a 150-page student workbook, pocket Constitution, 150-page workbook and a whole lot of Constitutional knowledge. Email to register.

Constitution Seminar for Youth – 9 April. The Constitution seminar scheduled for March 5th has been postponed to permit more 10-15 year olds to attend. Same time (9-5), same location (Foundation for American Christian Education classroom in Chesapeake, VA), same focus (Juliette Turner’s “Our Constitution Rocks”). Register through email to

Constitution Seminar – 16 April. On Saturday, 16 April, I hope to be in the Valley Forge, PA, area presenting another Constitution Seminar in conjunction with WFYL Radio. Valley Forge was CLI’s inaugural 1-day seminar, the success of which lead me to adopt the format as my standard. Save the date if you live in that area; details later.

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