Bill of Rights Day – December 15

The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791, 222 years ago today, coming into force on ratification by Virginia. The Bill of Rights includes a Preamble and Amendments 1 – 10 George Mason is known, together with James Madison, as the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” However, George Mason would be better … Read more

Government by consent of the governed: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624

There are village tyrants, as well as village Hampdens, but none who acts under color of law is beyond reach of the Constitution. . . . The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, … Read more

George Mason, “Grandfather of the Bill of Rights” (1725-1792)

George Mason is known, together with James Madison, as the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” However, George Mason would be better named the “Grandfather of the Bill of Rights” since the basis for the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution was the Virginia Declaration of Rights. That all men are born equally free … Read more

“Requiring Individuals to Obtain Health Insurance: A Constitutional Analysis”

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), P.L. 111-148, as amended, Congress enacted a “minimum coverage provision,” which compels certain individuals to have a minimum level of health insurance (i.e., an “individual mandate”). Individuals who fail to do so may be subject to a monetary penalty, administered through the tax code. … Read more

“Proper Etiquette for When You’re Under Arrest”

From “Proper Etiquette for When You’re Under Arrest” by Adam Martin, The Atlantic Wire, April 6, 2012 #1: Be polite, respectful, and professional with the cops, even if they’re being jerks to you. #2: Don’t say anything to the cops that you don’t have to. #3: Answer the questions they need to process you. #4: … Read more

Filibuster / Unlimited Debate (CongressionalGlossary.com)

Filibuster / Unlimited Debate Creative Commons License photo credit: PatrickRohe When a senator is recognized to speak on a pending measure, few limitations are placed on her. Debate is generally unlimited on all pending measures. A senator may yield to another senator for a question, but the senator still controls the floor. One of the … Read more