On August 13th, they took up a debate about whether to require four years or seven years of citizenship before someone was eligible to serve in the House of Representatives. Ultimately, they settle on seven years and the Constitution still requires seven years of citizenship before being eligible. But their debate on this question is interesting for what it reveals about the founders’ varying conception of citizenship. Elbridge Gerry voices what we might call the “nativist” worry: “Persons having foreign attachments will be sent among us & insinuated into our councils, in order to be made instruments for their purposes.” … Continue reading August 13: Can Foreigners Become Citizens and Govern?
Greg Weiner is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Assumption University. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is a regular contributor for The Constitutionalist. Editorial boards, like generals, fight the last war. The Boston … Continue reading Fighting the Last President
For what I think are essentially good reasons, I am dispositionally opposed both to constitutional amendments that react to contemporary controversies and to proposed reforms of the pardon power that seek to prevent abuse at the cost of its availability in cases of genuine need. But we also have a history of amendments—most clearly the 13th, 14th and 15th—that are motivated by the original ideals of the regime. Moreover, constitutional conservatism calls for prudence, not obstinacy. In light of recent events—along with the memory of Bill Clinton’s midnight pardons—I’m coming around to Keith Whittington’s position, articulated here, that an amendment to reform … Continue reading Coming Around to Amending the Pardon Power
Should Joe Biden pardon Donald Trump upon taking office? In the face of the growing instability of the American democratic order, Benjamin Kleinerman thinks that doing so would be “would be the most presidential act Biden could take” Continue reading Joe Biden Should Pardon Donald Trump