Many important political, historical, and legal issues were discussed at Nomocracy in Politics last week. Further thoughtful analysis will be forthcoming. Please enjoy the following mini-sampler:
(1) From Professor Nathan Coleman’s essay, “Obama as Stuart,” last week on Nomocracy:
Whether President Obama can be compared to both Roosevelt and Lincoln is debatable (and depends on how positively or negatively you see Lincoln and FDR), yet there is a better—if somewhat surprising—historical comparison that can be made with the Obama administration, that of Charles I, the king of England from 1625–1651.
(2) From Professor Kevin R.C. Gutzman’s essay, “Charles Kesler’s Siren Song to Surrender Congressional War Powers,” last week on Nomocracy:
Kesler leaves unclear why congressmen should accept President Obama’s reading of executive power. There is nothing in the Constitution or the ratification materials to indicate that the states ever agreed to empower the president to make war at discretion. Yes, treaties are the supreme law of the land, as Article VI says, but no treaty binds the United States to make war on al Qaeda’s side in Syria. In fact, the general secretary of the United Nations argues that the UN Charter—a treaty to which the United States is a party—bans such behavior in the absence of a Security Council resolution.
(3) From Dr. Peter Haworth’s essay, “West Coast Straussians, Harry Jaffa, Bad Originalism, and Teleocratic Fantasies: Part 1,” last week on Nomocracy:
The current installment has briefly shown crucial problems for Jaffa’s attempt at reading equality into the 1789 Constitution via his suggestions that this document should be interpreted in light of the Declaration of Independence. It goes without saying that I am not here attacking the normative value of equality per se; rather, I am just criticizing ideologically motivated attempts to incorrectly revise the history of the Founding and, in turn, falsely reconstruct the Constitution’s positive law.