William Watkins Archive

Commerce, Economic Activity, Obamacare, and the Anti-Federalists



Recently, I have written a couple of short op-eds (see here and here) arguing that commerce, to the Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution, did not mean economic activity, gainful activity, etc. It means trade–among the states or with foreign nations, or with Indians. The purpose of the interstate Commerce Clause, which should guide interpretation, is creation of...
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Florida District Judge Hints that Obamacare Is Unconstitutional



Right now the score card is 2 judges in favor and one against the insurance mandate. According to reports, it might soon be 2-2. This report is from the New York Times: In a three-hour hearing, the judge, Roger Vinson of Federal District Court, said the law’s requirement that most Americans obtain insurance, a...
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SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Global Warming Suit



The Wall Street Journal reports: The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether eight states and other plaintiffs can proceed with lawsuits that seek to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by utilities. The lawsuit is part of a push by some states for “greenhouse gas” regulations that go further than efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection...
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Repeal Amendment Causing Waves



The Washington Post reports that “Conservative activists are looking to build momentum for a long-shot amendment to the Constitution, introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House, that would allow states to repeal pieces of federal legislation they find onerous.” The Post is referring to the “Repeal Amendment” drafted by Randy Barnett. This proposed amendment provides...
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Civil Commitments: Necessary and Proper??



On Monday the Supreme Court in United States v. Comstock, held that Congress has the power under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to enact 18 U.S.C. § 4248. Section 4248 authorizes court-ordered civil commitment by the federal government of two categories of “sexually dangerous” persons: (1) “sexually dangerous”...
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Today at the Supreme Court



The Supreme Court decided an 8th Amendment case today, Graham v. Florida. The Court held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without parole for a nonhomicide crime. While reasonable people can agree or disagree with the Court’s decision as a...
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