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

How Liberal Courts Help Conservatives States Stay Free

By David Boaz. USA Today. August 19, 2016.

A Father’s Question for Trump: “Have You Even Read the Constitution?”

By Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff. Cato.org. July 29, 2016.

How Obama Abandoned the American Ethos of Justice

By Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff. Cato.org. July 22, 2016.

Cato Studies

Hate Speech Laws: Ratifying the Assassin’s Veto

By Robert Corn-Revere. Policy Analysis No. 791. May 24, 2016.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA’s Anti-Constitutional and Authoritarian Super-Legislature

By Diane Cohen and Michael F. Cannon. Policy Analysis No. 700. June 14, 2012.

Renewing Federalism by Reforming Article V: Defects in the Constitutional Amendment Process and a Reform Proposal

By Michael B. Rappaport. Policy Analysis No. 691. January 18, 2012.

Articles

Protecting Economic Liberty by Other Means

Ilya Shapiro. New York University Journal of Law & Liberty. Vol. 10. No. 1. 2016.

Evenwel v. Abbott: The Court Shanks Its Punt on “One Person, One Vote”

Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry. Federalist Society Review. Vol. 17. No. 2. June 2, 2016.

Harris v. Quinn and the Extraordinary Privilege of Compulsory Unionization

Trevor Burrus. New York University Annual Survey of American Law. 2015.

Public Filings

Stahl York Avenue Co. v. City of New York

By Ilya Shapiro, Luke Wake, Trevor Burrus, & Randal John Meyer. Legal Briefs. July 6, 2016.

In the Matter of Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007

By Ilya Shapiro, Josh Blackman, E. Gregory Wallace, & Randal John Meyer. Public Comments. July 1, 2016.

How the Compact for America Approach Strengthens the Article V Process

By Ilya Shapiro. Testimony. May 25, 2016.

Events

You Have the Right to Remain Innocent

Featuring Randy E. Barnett and Tim Lynch. September 29, 2016. Book Forum.

The Domestic Drone Revolution: Risks and Rewards in Perspective

Featuring Matthew Feeney and Patrick G. Eddington. September 27, 2016. Conference.

#CatoDigital — Digital Speech under Attack: How Regulators Are Trying to Shut Down Dissent Online

Featuring Kat Murti. June 29, 2016. Cato Digital.