Mollie Hemingway on Religious Liberty in Modern America

On November 4th, 2017, Mollie Hemingway spoke at the Buckley Program’s conference on The Constitution and the Courts.

Mollie Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. A longtime journalist, her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, National Review, GetReligion, Ricochet, Christianity Today, Federal Times, Radio & Records and other publications.

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Ms. Hemingway at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Alexander Sikorski

Alexander: How serious is the threat to religious liberty in America today? Continue reading

Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger on the Administrative State

On November 4th, 2017, Professor Philip Hamburger spoke on a panel Federalism and the Modern Administrative State at the Buckley Program’s conference The Constitution and the Courts.

Hamburger is the Maurice & Hilda Friedman Professor at the Columbia University School of Law. He is a leading scholar of constitutional law and its history, specifically the First Amendment, administrative power, religious liberty, and judicial review. He has authored articles for many major publications and published numerous books, including his newest work, The Administrative Threat, a 68-page distillation of his previous 646-page work Is Administrative Law Unlawful? This year, Professor Hamburger was awarded the Bradley Prize, a $250,000 stipend for “innovative thinkers.”

The Buckley Program had the chance to interview Professor Hamburger at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, CT. The transcript has been condensed and lightly edited from a longer interview.

By: Andreas Ravichandran

Andreas: You’ve written extensively about the administrative state and its overreach. I was wondering if you could start out by defining for us what that term means. Continue reading

High School Essay Contest: 1st Place

This semester, the Buckley Program held a high school essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Andrej Elez, a sophomore at Montgomery High School, won 1st place. 

Although the country is dealing with hurricane relief, gun control, and health care reform, the most pressing long-term domestic issue that leaps out to the casual observer is the massive growth of the Federal government into areas in which it was never intended to intervene. Continue reading

High School Essay Contest: 2nd Place

This semester, the Buckley Program held a high school essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Holden Whaley, a freshman at Xavier High, won 2nd place. 

The Change I Hope to See

To have a fair democracy every vote needs to count for the same amount, allowing each person to have the same voice in our government. This is essential to any indirect democracy as it is built on the social contract theory.  This theory states that the people of a nation give a smaller group of people the right to govern them, if they respect the will of the people. As Abraham Lincoln said, it’s “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. This in turn means that democracy is based on the popular will of the people, as not everyone will agree. However, in America, that is not always the case; while most elections and votes are won by majority rule, the presidential election does not always work this way. The system for electing a president in America is known as the electoral college, and due to several factors, it sometimes allows a president to win without amassing a majority of the vote. In my opinion, if someone can win without a majority, the system is unfair. So, if I could propose an amendment to the United States constitution, I would propose that the electoral college is abolished in favor of the two-round system. Continue reading

High School Essay Contest: 3rd Place

This semester, the Buckley Program held a high school essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by James Heavey, a junior at Greenwich High, won 3rd place. 

AMENDMENT XXVIII:

Sec. 1  The length of a term in the House of Representatives shall now be four years

Sec. 2  No person shall be elected to Congress if they surpass the term limits.  The term limits shall be 2 terms in the House of Representatives, totalling 8 years and 2 terms in Congress totalling 12 years.  In total, one person may only serve in Congress for 20 years.

Sec. 3  A Congressional Advisory Resource Agency shall be established to provide legislative insight and experience to Congress. Continue reading

High School Essay Contest: Honorable Mention

This semester, the Buckley Program held a high school essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Naomi Kostman, a junior at Greenwich High, won an Honorable Mention. 

The New Face of America

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants. The Statue of Liberty, reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” However, Article II Section 1 of the Constitution states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…” This section has discredited the population of naturalized citizens that has grown by 6.6 million in the past decade as not “American” enough. The 28th Amendment to the Constitution should allow for an individual who is a citizen and is at least 35 years of age to be eligible to run for president regardless of his/her country of birth. It is time for the United States to earn its reputation of giving a voice to all people by allowing those who have worked hard to become citizens the right to represent this country. Continue reading

Buckley College Essay Contest: 1st Place Winner

This semester, the Buckley Program held a college essay contest with the topic: If you could propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be? The following essay by Jeffrey Hendricks, a senior in Silliman College, won 1st place. 

Political observers understand the difficulty of amending the U.S. Constitution. A two-thirds majority of both congressional houses must propose the amendment, or two-thirds of the states must request a convention. If the proposed amendment wins these supermajorities, three-quarters of the states must ratify the amendment. These high thresholds guarantee the necessity of bipartisan support. In the era of 50 states, the 89th Congress (January 1965 – January 1967) presented the only unified government with a House of 290 or more members of one party and a Senate with 67 or more members of the same party. 290 is two-thirds of 435; 67 is the first whole number larger than two-thirds of 100. Continue reading