William H. Rehnquist has served as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court for nineteen years, the longest tenure of a chief justice in a century. How has the Rehnquist Court responded to the key constitutional issues of our times? What will be the philosophical legacy of the man himself? And who will miss him more, liberals or conservatives? Peter Robinson speaks with Kathleen Sullivan and John Yoo.
Is the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? The original pledge, written in 1892 by the Christian socialist Francis Bellamy, did not contain the words "under God." Congress added these two words in 1954. And it is these words that caused the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in June 2002 that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools violated the First Amendment's so-called separation of church and state. Now the case is before the Supreme Court. Will the Court rule that reciting the current pledge in schools is okay, or do the words "under God" have to go?
The Supreme Court will soon announce its decisions on two cases that are being called the most important for affirmative action in a quarter century. These cases both challenge the use of racial preferences in the admissions policies at the University of Michigan. On one side of the legal dispute over the Michigan policies are those who argue that creating racial diversity on college campuses is a "compelling interest" that justifies the use of certain types of racial preferences in the admissions process. On the other side are those who argue that any system that rewards people solely on the basis of race is unconstitutional. Who's right? And how will the Supreme Court's decision affect the future of affirmation action?
Does the war on terrorism threaten our civil liberties? Benjamin Franklin famously admonished, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Are we today being asked to give up essential liberties for temporary safety? If so, is it worth it? Or are the fears that the government's war on terrorism will trample our freedoms overblown?
In June 2003, a European constitutional convention presented the fruits of 18 months of work: a draft constitution for the European Union that runs to more than 200 pages. Why does the European Union even need a constitution? Will the constitution limit the powers of the EU over the member countries, or does it mean the creation of a European superstate? Should the constitution be ratified, or is it just a colossal mistake?
The Supreme Court has the final authority on all matters of law under the U.S. Constitution. But what legal philosophy should the Supreme Court use to reach its decisions? Should the Court merely hand down rules based on the text of a fixed, or "dead," Constitution? Or should the Court apply standards that are based on interpretations of a "living" Constitution that evolves as our society changes? These fundamentally different approaches to constitutional law have created a rift with the current Supreme Court. How serious is this rift? Who's right? And to what extent are these competing arguments merely covers for ideological positions?
Audio recording of “Out for a Constitutional” (26:48)
As Barack Obama begins his second term as president of the United States, the nation faces a range of formidable challenges at the intersection of which are national security and law.
Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution examines three enemy combatant cases that represent the leading edge of U.S. efforts to devise legal rules, consistent with American constitutional principles, for waging the global war on terror. The distinguished contributors analyze the crucial questions these cases raise about the balance between national security and civil liberties in wartime and call for a reexamination of the complex connections between the Constitution and international law.
Did the Boumediene decision represent a victory for separation of powers? Hardly, despite what the Supreme Court majority claimed. Instead, it was judicial overreach. By Peter Berkowitz.
What happens when South Korean students take a close look at American democracy. By Peter Berkowitz.
What sustains the conservative agenda? What makes it distinctive and coherent? In a word, principle. By Peter Berkowitz.
Hoover Institution Press Today Releases Book Highlighting The Meaning of Current American Conservatism Conserving Liberty By Mark Blitz
In this book, Blitz clarifies and defends contemporary American conservatism. He explains the beliefs, practices, and institutions that play a crucial role in forming and sustaining liberty in America.
France may have a case for banning the burqa. By Peter Berkowitz.
The Hoover Institution hosted its annual Board of Overseers’ summer meeting during July 9–11, 2013.
The program began on Tuesday evening with before-dinner remarks by Paul D. Clement, a partner at Bancroft PLLC. Clement served as the forty-third solicitor general of the United States from June 2005 until June 2008. He has argued more than sixty-five cases before the US Supreme Court. During Clement’s speech, titled “Federalism in the Roberts Court,” he talked about the revitalization of federalism in the Rehnquist court “imposing some limits on the federal government’s power vis-a-vis the states.”
Civics education must not be indoctrination, but it also must not be overlooked. By Peter Berkowitz.
Women in Kuwait have made significant advances in their pursuit of civil rights. Could Kuwait become a model for other Arab states? By Hoover fellow Peter Berkowitz.
Senator Rand Paul on libertarianism and the GOP; the Senate; and the Constitution. An interview with PETER ROBINSON.