The modern idea that the Constitution, without further amendment, is an infinitely elastic document that allows government to grow to meet public demands of whatever kind must be challenged. Americans must come to appreciate that the Founding Fathers, who were keenly aware of the expansive tendencies of government, wrote the Constitution precisely to check that kind of thinking and that possibility. The Founders meant government to be our servant, not our master, and they meant it to serve us in a very limited way—by securing our rights, as the Declaration of Independence says, and by doing those few other things that government does best, as spelled out in the Constitution.

More on Constitutional Studies

Commentary

Cato Studies

Articles

Truthiness and the First Amendment

Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus and Gabriel Latner. Journal of Constitutional Law Heightened Scrutiny. Vol. 16. May 2014.

Constitutional Interpretation: Lessons From the American Experience

Roger Pilon. Századvég Foundation Conference (Budapest) Keynote Address. October 3, 2013.

The Beginning of the End of the Gay Marriage Debate

Ilya Shapiro. Engage. Vol. 14. No. 1. Summer 2013.

Public Filings

Elonis v. United States

By Stephen R. Shapiro, Brian M. Hauss, Lee Rowland, Jack M. Balkin, Emma Llanso & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. August 22, 2014.

National Review v. Mann

By Bradley A. Benbrook, Stephen M. Duvernay, Ilya Shapiro & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. August 11, 2014.

North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission

By Timothy Sandefur and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. August 7, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

After Obamacare: Crafting an Alternative

Policy Report. March/April 2014.

The Classical Liberal Constitution

Richard A. Epstein. Policy Report. March/April 2014.

“The Most Interesting Brief in the World”

Supreme Court Review. 2012-2013.

Events

Halbig, King, and ObamaCare: What Happened, and What Happens Next?

Featuring Michael F. Cannon. August 12, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

McCutcheon v. FEC: Two Books on the Supreme Court’s Latest Campaign Finance Case

Featuring Ilya Shapiro. June 18, 2014. Book Forum.

Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Featuring Roger Pilon. June 5, 2014. Book Forum.