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Articles on Constitutional law

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford walks to his office in June 2020 as legislators debated the government’s legislation that enabled it to invoke the notwithstanding clause. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Notwithstanding the notwithstanding clause, the Charter is everyone’s business

By paying greater attention to the originally intended application of the Canadian Constitution’s notwithstanding clause, along with the diversity of lawmakers in Canada, there’s a better path forward.
Illuminating recent Supreme Court rulings. Geoff Livingston via Getty Images

Religion at the Supreme Court: 3 essential reads

Religion was a common theme in some of the cases to come before the nine justices in the recently concluded Supreme Court term. Three experts help explain what is at stake.
Without a formal constitution, Israelis disagree on such basic issues as whether Israel is a Jewish state. Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

How Israel’s missing constitution deepens divisions between Jews and with Arabs

Governed by a changeable body of ‘basic laws,’ Israel never settled basic questions like the rights of religious minorities. These destabilizing issues will continue to fester under a new government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks as Ontario Premier Doug Ford listens at a groundbreaking event at a gold mine in 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Doug Ford uses the notwithstanding clause for political benefit

Ontario has historically been the province in Confederation most concerned about buoying Ottawa and limiting its own relative power for the sake of national unity. Doug Ford puts that legacy at risk.
Legislation pending in Congress would contribute to reforming how police conduct themselves – but there’s a limit to what federal legislation can do. Seth Herald / AFP/Getty Images

Congress can’t do much about fixing local police – but it can tie strings to federal grants

While many in America are looking to Congress to pass police reform legislation, the federal government has almost no control over state and local police departments.
If the House of Representatives selects the president, each state would get a single vote – not one vote per House member. iStock/Getty

Congress could select the president in a disputed election

Judges are generally reluctant to decide elections, as the Supreme Court controversially did in 2000. As a result, Trump’s flurry of litigation could wind up throwing the election to the House.
The Supreme Court will soon add another originalist to its ranks if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

What is originalism? Debunking the myths

The judicial theory has been a major talking point during the past three Supreme Court nominations. But what does it actually mean?
If the House of Representatives selects the president, each state would get a single vote – not one vote per House member. iStock / Getty Images Plus

How Congress could decide the 2020 election

Biden and Trump are both preparing for a court battle in November. But when the Electoral College produces no clear winner, it’s the House of Representatives that’s supposed to select the president.
People gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court building as news spread of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Sept. 18 death. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

3 ways a 6-3 Supreme Court would be different

A 6-3 conservative court will hear a broader range of controversial cases, shift interpretations of individual rights and put more pressure on local democracy to make policy decisions.
A protester during an anti-mask rally on July 19 in Indianapolis, Indiana, against the mayor’s mask order and the governor’s extension of the state shutdown. Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Constitution doesn’t have a problem with mask mandates

A constitutional law scholar says that the arguments made by anti-mask protesters that the Constitution protects their freedom to go maskless are just wrong.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser presenting via telephone during oral argument before the Supreme Court on May 13, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Supreme Court phoning it in means better arguments, more public engagement

The Supreme Court’s pandemic-related move to oral argument over the telephone has improved those arguments and allowed the public to engage with these discussions of the meaning of our Constitution.
In an official White House photo, President Donald Trump stands alone. Shealah Craighead/White House

Trump, like Obama, tests the limits of presidential war powers

Both President Trump and President Obama used military force without informing Congress, or getting its approval. But the differences reveal more than the similarities.

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