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

Spanish Central Government Threatens Catalonia



From the BBC: The prime minister of Spain has two requests for the leader of Catalonia. First: Clarify whether the region is, indeed, declaring independence from Spain. And second: If that is the case, take it back. Otherwise, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says, Spain will suspend Catalonia’s current autonomy, institute direct rule and possibly...
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Crisis in Catalonia Caused by Judiciary



After the violence unleashed at the polls by the Spanish national government, many in Europe are holding their collective breath waiting for Catalonia to declare independence. As we reflect on this crisis in Spain, we would do well to recall just who made all this trouble: the judiciary. The legislature of Catalonia and the...
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Response to Vegas Attacks Shows the Heart and Mind of the Left



In response to the senseless violence in Las Vegas, several on the Left have brazenly indicated what they truly think about middle America–folks that go to work, worship on Sundays, listen to country music, drive pick ups, and simply try to build an honest life with family. Hayley Geftman-Gold, one of CBS’s top lawyers,...
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Lincoln Smiles on Madrid’s Effort to Prevent Independence Vote



In Spain, the central government resorted to violence to stop the people of Catalonia from participating in a vote on independence. The violence from agents of the national government is distressing. According to The Telegraph: Video footage showed officers from Spain’s national police—4,000 of whom had been brought in by the government to help...
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National Idolatry and Constitution Day



By federal statute, September 17 is designated as a holy day in the American civic religion. On that day in 1787, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention affixed their signatures to the document that they had created and that governs us today. The website constitutionday.com encourages public demonstrations of love for the Constitution and...
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SCOTUS and Trinity Lutheran: Should We Celebrate?



The Supreme Court ruled this week that the state of Missouri cannot exclude non-profit, religious organizations from programs for which secular non-profits are eligible. The Washington Post has a news story on the opinion here. According to the Court “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise...
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“The Slants” Win on Free Speech



In Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down an important First Amendment decision. This case dealt with a band’s application for federal trademark registration of the band’s name, “The Slants.” The Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) denied the application based on 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage ....
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Can Christians Serve in Bernie Sanders’s Amerika?



Bernie Sanders does not believe that orthodox Christians should be able to hold high office in the government of the United States. Sanders made this clear when voicing his opposition to confirmation of Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sanders took umbrage at an op-ed...
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Young Americans and Hope for the Future



Bob Higgs, in a recent post on all the foolishness in American higher education, reminds us of what a danger we face as our colleges attempt to mold students into young Jacobins. In light of the state of American education, we need some bright spot on what is a dismal landscape. One bright spot...
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Response to Gordon Lloyd’s Review of Crossroads for Liberty



Gordon Lloyd has a review up on the Law of Liberty Blog of my book Crossroads for Liberty. Lloyd is the Dockson Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University and has been heavily involved in the creation of the useful website TeachingAmericanHistory.org. I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Lloyd a few years...
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