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  • Constitutional Convention: John Jay Letter Shows Its Power Came from State Legislatures, not Congress

    Constitutional Convention: John Jay Letter Shows Its Power Came from State Legislatures, not Congress0

    • January 14, 2017

    A persistent constitutional myth has it that (1) Congress called the Constitutional Convention under the Articles of Confederation, (2) the convention drew its power from Congress, and (3) the convention exceeded its power when it recommended a new Constitution rather than merely propose amendments to the Articles. As readers of this website know, however, the

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  • Did Congress Approve the Constitution? A Member’s Letter Says “Yes”

    Did Congress Approve the Constitution? A Member’s Letter Says “Yes”0

    • November 28, 2016

    Some people argue the Constitution was adopted illegally. They assert that the Confederation Congress needed to approve the document, but never did. But principles of law tell us that they are wrong. So does a rarely-mentioned letter from a member of the Confederation Congress. It is true that most (not all) of the resolutions by

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  • For the Latest In Matters Constitutional, Check out Our Dedicated Websites!

    For the Latest In Matters Constitutional, Check out Our Dedicated Websites!0

    • November 13, 2016

    The Independence Institute’s constitutional scholars maintain websites dedicated to everything latest—and everything historical—about the U.S. Constitution. For Rob Natelson’s commentary on the Constitution, go to robnatelson.com For Dave Kopel’s commentary on the Second Amendment, self-defense, terrorism, and for links to Colorado Inside Out, go to davekopel.com For our special website dedicated to the Constitution’s amendment

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  • This Resolution Suggests Congress Did Agree to a Broad Constitutional Convention0

    • October 27, 2016

    On April 23, 1787, the Confederation Congress extended the post office franking privilege to all commissioners about to attend the Constitutional Convention. In other words, Congress gave to convention delegates the same privilege to send and receive free mail its own members enjoyed. Why is that important? Because it tends to show that Congress accepted

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  • Changed Conditions May Justify Term Limits0

    • October 18, 2016

    This is the full version of an op-ed  first appearing in the Detroit Daily News. Advocates for term limits want to amend the Constitution to add them. Their most common argument is that restricting how long an elected official may serve will curb special interest influence and other federal abuse. The Articles of Confederation, the document

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  • What should you remember when drafting a constitutional amendment?0

    • October 16, 2016

    Last month, Citizens for Self Governance sponsored a simulated convention for proposing amendments in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was an adviser for the project, and just before the initial meeting I spoke to the assembled commissioners. My purpose was to provide them with some last-minute tips on drafting proposed constitutional amendments. Several people have asked me

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