Arizona Legislative Leaders Join in Legal Battle over Capital Punishment for Aaron Gunches

Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and House Speaker Ben Toma (R-Peoria) announced they are fighting back against Gov. Katie Hobbs’s (D) opposition to executing death row inmate Aaron Gunches.

“Governor Hobbs’ unilateral decision to defy a court order is lawless and should not be tolerated by the Judiciary,” said Toma in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times. “We filed this amicus brief because the Governor is not above the law and simply cannot choose which statutes or court orders to follow. Moreover, I’m proud to stand with the victims in this case. Governor Hobbs’ actions have been a flagrant insult to the Price family, denying them of their legal rights as crime victims, and of the justice they are very much due.”

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Proposed Legislation Restores Tennessee’s Sovereignty Through Nullification

A bill making its way through the Tennessee General Assembly seeks to restore the state’s sovereignty by establishing a process for the nullification of unconstitutional federal actions.

HB0726 and companion SB1092 sponsored by Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) and Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), respectively, is officially titled “Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act.”

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Supreme Court Hears Blockbuster Climate Case with Separation of Powers Implications

The Supreme Court heard arguments in West Virginia v. EPA on Monday, a blockbuster case that could have major ramifications in future separation of powers cases.

The case, which stems from an Obama administration climate rule, has wide-ranging implications for how the federal agencies may issue future regulations and rules, according to the parties that brought the case before the high court. States, environmental groups, large power utility companies, civil liberties organizations and pro-coal industry groups have inserted themselves in the case over the last several years, signaling the importance of the questions it has raised.

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Commentary: The Tyranny of Experts

The principles and policies of America’s original progressives have received renewed attention over the last decade, both in academia and in public discourse. Today’s progressive politicians and intellectuals have pointed to their roots in the original progressive movement; moreover, the connections between the original progressive calls for reform and the language and shape of our politics today have become increasingly obvious. In what follows, the relevance of original progressivism to government today will be more fully explored. There is no better place to begin than with our administrative state. This essay deals with the general principles of the administrative state and its roots in the original progressive movement.

The term “administrative state” has come to have a variety of meanings, but at its core it points to the situation in contemporary American government, created largely although not entirely by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, whereby a large, unelected bureaucracy is empowered with significant governing authority. The fundamental question for many of those making reference to an “administrative state” is how it can be squared with government by consent and with the constitutional separation-of-powers system.

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Commentary: Congress Must Exercise Its Article I Power, Or It Will Be Deemed Irrelevant

Capitol building

by Printus LeBlanc   When the framers created the government, it was split into three coequal branches; the Congressional, Executive, and Judicial branches. Articles I through III describe the duties, responsibilities, and powers assigned to each branch of the government. However, one of those branches seems to be the redheaded stepchild of the government lately. If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last several years, you know the House of Representatives, and more recently the Senate, have been engaged in a fierce battle with executive branch agencies over documents about congressional investigations. The agencies routinely ignore requests from Congress or flat out lie when questioned under oath. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In 2013, the IRS admitted it was guilty of targeting conservative groups when it apologized for the act. Members of Congress were furious and immediately launched investigations. The IRS employee at the center of the targeting scandal, Lois Lerner, pled the Fifth Amendment right to non-incrimination when called before committees. The committees were left with no alternative but to subpoena documents. In a pattern that has become all too familiar, the requested documents were destroyed after the subpoenas were issued. The IRS said the emails were…

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Commentary: Why Is the Senate Refusing to Confirm Judicial and Executive Branch Nominees?

by Natalia Castro   The Senate has played a vital role in stalling the Trump agenda and preventing the swamp they swim in from being drained. One of the greatest struggles President Trump has faced in moving his plan forward has been an inability to fill vacant positions within the executive branch, with positions such as the NASA Administrator, Export-Import Bank President, and others still vacant. These individuals are qualified and ready to do their jobs, and if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not allow them to, he is committing a vital injustice against all Americans. The lack of movement on judicial nominees has been a frequent point of contention — so far, only 16 judges have been confirmed — positions within the executive office have also gone unfilled. Currently, the Senate has 94 pending nominations on the executive calendar, many which were added to the schedule as far back as June 2017.  The Senate must break from its bubble and realize the direct effect the lack of action is having on the American people. In May, President Trump sent the nomination of Russell Vought to the Senate to serve as the Deputy Director for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).…

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Constitution Series: Judicial Review

    This is the eighth of twenty-five weekly articles in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Series. Students in grades 8 through 12 can sign up here to participate in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Bee, which will be held on September 23. The Separation of Powers and Federalism are two foundational concepts of the Constitution,  based on the idea that checks and balances between competing interests will prevent any one individual or group from obtaining and exercising abusive powers within our republic. In the national government, the checks and balances of the Separation of Powers were designed within the Constitution, which gave specific powers to the three equal branches of government— executive, legislative, and judicial–but also placed limits on the powers of each branch. The legislative branch, which passes laws, approves Presidential nominations for Cabinet positions and the Supreme Court and other federal courts, appropriates money, and can impeach the president and federal judges. The executive branch can veto legislation, nominate judges, and administers the day-to-day operations of the government. The judicial branch has asserted, without much resistance, the power to declare laws passed by Congress and Presidential actions unconstitutional–a principle commonly known as “judicial review.” Unlike the powers granted the…

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