Here’s a brief look at the top constitutional news stories and commentaries from this week. The top three: personhood, tea party protesters, and partisanship.
James Madison’s concept of the separation of powers of the national government has always been thought to be a stroke of genius because it guaranteed a good deal of independence of the three major branches so that they could check each other, to prevent tyranny.
What so many opponents of the Affordable Care Act find offensive is the idea that you have to do something because the government tells you that you have to when freedom to so many Americans has traditionally been understood to mean being left to our own devices.
From the very founding of the Nation, the Constitution has been understood to protect private religious beliefs from government intrusion. The same is not true for private moral values or convictions.
I like Adam Liptak a lot—in fact, he and my brother were classmates at Yale Law School, during my first three years on the faculty there. But I think Liptak’s article in The New York Times this week, in which he argued that the United States Constitution’s global influence is declining, is off base.