Posts by William J. Watkins, Jr.
William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty, Reclaiming the American Revolution, and Patent Trolls.
No President Has “Total Power” over States’ Plans to Reopen


According to this article from Business Insider, “the governors of California, Washington, and Oregon said they were working together on a West Coast plan to safely reopen those states, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a multistate coalition to coordinate on ways to reopen the region’s economy as the spread of the virus […]

Easter Brings Pushback on Coronavirus Restrictions


As I mentioned in recent commentary for The American Spectator, the states (not the federal government) are charged under our system of government with dealing with the coronavirus. They possess the “police power” and may make laws for the health, welfare, and safety of the people. Chief Justice John Marshall recognized this exclusivity in […]

Defense Production Act, the Constitution, and the Voluntary Way


President Trump initially seemed uncertain whether he would use the Defense Production Act (“DPA”) in the coronavirus situation. Then the head of FEMA announced on March 24 that the DPA would be used to speed up the production of coronavirus testing kits. Shortly after the FEMA announcement, a FEMA press secretary informed the public: […]

Court-Packing: Democrats Ignore Painful Lessons


Several Democratic presidential candidates say they will consider supporting legislation to increase the size of the Supreme Court.

National Emergencies Act: Flawed from the Beginning


Anyone holding any loyalty to our written Constitution should decry the National Emergencies Act itself.

Marbury, Crackpots, and Judicial Supremacy


I just returned to the United States after a short-term teaching stint at European University in Tbilisi, Georgia. It seems I’ve arrived home on the tail end of a controversy over the venerable Marbury v. Madison decision. According to luminaries at the Washington Post, anyone who questions the greatness of Marbury is a “crackpot” […]

Constitution Day


Today, by statutory law, is Constitution Day. It is more a wake for the dead than a celebration for one that is living. Actually, the Constitution is dead because so many have insisted on it being a living and breathing document. A Constitution should be a lighthouse, a beacon for the people to gaze […]

Victory for Public Workers at SCOTUS


This decision limits the power of organized labor and gives greater freedom to individual workers.

Religious Liberty Wins at SCOTUS…Sort Of


This was the right result in this case, but the Court has done little to provide meaningful guidance as free exercise and free speech clash with public accommodation statutes making sexual orientation a protected classification.

SCOTUS Arbitration Decision


Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court (5-4) upheld the right of employers and employees to agree to submit disputes to one-on-one arbitration. The decision is NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. This is a great victory for the right of contract and opting out of the government courts in favor of private dispute resolving entities. I really […]

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