Rob Natelson, the Independence Institute's Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence, is one of America's best-known constitutional scholars. He was a law professor for 25 years, serving at three different universities. He is particularly recognized for his investigations into the Constitution's original meaning. Several of his findings have been cited or adopted by justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Rob is also the author of a popular book, The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant.
                                       Atop St. Paul's Cathedral, London
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April 6th, 2014
A spate of new applications from state legislatures for a “convention for proposing amendments” make it more likely that we will have an amendments convention in the near future. In order to get ready for this historic event, lawyers, legislators, and others involved in the process need a reliable guide to the law governing amendment [...]
March 28th, 2014
Article V of the Constitution authorizes a “Convention for proposing Amendments.” However, it does did not specify how the convention is to be composed. People unfamiliar with constitutional history sometimes claim the makeup of an amendments convention is either a complete mystery or subject to the determination of Congress. Nonsense. For one thing, the Supreme Court [...]
March 20th, 2014
Take out a dollar bill and look on the back. There you will see the two sides of the Great Seal of the United States. Look at the left hand side—the circle with the pyramid. Above the pyramid is a representation of the Eye of Providence—of God. Above the eye is the phrase, Annuit coeptis. Below [...]
March 17th, 2014
The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently refused to dismiss the suit by various public sector interests to invalidate Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). The plaintiffs claim that TABOR violates Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. That provision is called the Guarantee Clause because it guarantees that the [...]
March 9th, 2014
(This article originally appeared in the American Thinker.) Opponents of a Convention of States long argued that there was an unacceptable risk a convention might do too much.  It now appears they were mistaken. So they increasingly argue that amendments cannot do enough. The “too much” contention was first promulgated in modern times by apologists for [...]
March 1st, 2014
Many opponents of an Article V convention seem to think that it would be a nearly unique event, for which the “only precedent” would be the 1787 constitutional convention.   Some even go so far as to oppose non-Article V gatherings among the states. As regular readers know, the idea that a convention of [...]
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April 15th, 2014
A wise person once told me: Everything in moderation… including moderation. I’ve spent years trying to make complete sense out of that, but the point is some people can go overboard with certain ideas. That’s just as true in the education policy arena as anywhere else. One of those discussions surrounds the happy talk of [...]