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William Watkins Archive

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy, and Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

PC Cowards at Yale Rename Calhoun College



According to the BBC, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that Calhoun College would be renamed because John C. Calhoun’s legacy and principles are “at odds with the university’s values.” Calhoun served in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, as Defense Secretary, and as Vice President of the United States. He graduated Phi Beta...
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Ninth Circuit and the Immigration Order: One Thing Missing



The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reinstate the travel ban imposed by President Trump. The New York Times has this story on the litigation, and the Court’s opinion can be found here. The case is likely headed to the Supreme Court. Of course, if he’s not hankering for a fight, President Trump...
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The Neil Gorsuch Nomination: Does a Protestant Seat Matter?



There has not been a Protestant on the Supreme Court since Justice John Paul Stevens retired in 2010. There has not been a Protestant nominated since 1990 when George W. Bush called upon David Souter. Right now there are five Roman Catholics and three Jews. Neil Gorsuch, according to the Washington Post, belongs to St....
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Calexit 2018? The Movement Is Beginning



The Sacramento Bee reports that “[b]ackers of a proposed constitutional amendment seeking California’s secession from the U.S. can begin collecting voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot, the [California] secretary of state’s office said Thursday.” Support for this initiative is strong, with one in three Californians saying they are ready to leave the...
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Is Donald Trump a Fascist?



There was much vitriol surrounding the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. One thing that struck me was the frequency with which commentators threw around the words fascism and fascist. For example, The Huffington Post warned that Trump’s Emerging Fascism Threatens the Nation; Salon chastised the country with the...
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Communists March with Democrats in Atlanta, but the Media Doesn’t Care



Today, social justice warriors took to the streets of Atlanta to protest the election of Donald Trump. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution has this report on the activities of the marchers.) Former President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin were the Democratic headliners of the event. Sponsors of the rally include the ACLU,...
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What Trump Can Learn from the Treaty that Created America



In January, the winds of political change often blow with ferocity. The District of Columbia is now bracing itself for a gale-force disruption as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. An upheaval in foreign affairs, trade, and immigration policy is in the offing. It’s tempting to focus solely...
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Geert Wilders Convicted of Hate Speech: Will It Happen Here?



Last week, Dutch politician Geert Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination and of insulting a group. The offending remarks came at a political rally when Wilders suggested that his country would be better off without any more Moroccan immigration. The New York Times has this news story here. Many folks who read this website are likely...
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The Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and the Importance of Precedent



December 16 is the 243rd Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The British taxed tea, the colonists got mad, dressed up like Indians, and tossed the tea into the ocean—that’s a fair summary of what most Americans know about the Boston Tea Party. It was, we are told, a mere tax protest that shows...
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Bill of Rights Day: Opportunities Missed



Thursday, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day, a time when citizens are told to celebrate the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Scholars such as Yale’s Akhil Amar describe the Bill of Rights as “the high temple of our constitutional order—America’s Parthenon.” Most of the public buys into this and believes that the...
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