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


Do We Really Want a Passive Judiciary? No.

By Timothy Sandefur. February 10, 2015.

Must American Students Pass Immigrants’ Citizenship Test?

By Nat Hentoff. February 4, 2015.

Homeland Insecurity: Checkpoints, Warrantless Searches and Security Theater

By Patrick G. Eddington. JustSecurity. February 2, 2015.

Cato Studies


King v. Burwell: Desperately Seeking Ambiguity in Clear Statutory Text

Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon. Journal of Health Politics., Policy and Law. Vol. 40. No. 3. 2015.

Ending Legalized Piracy: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Roger Pilon and Trevor Burrus. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

On the National Security Leaks Dilemma

Roger Pilon. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy - Federalist Edition. Vol. 2. No. 1. 2014.

Public Filings

Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Robert Corn-Revere. Legal Briefs. February 17, 2015.

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.

By Brendan J. Morrissey, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, & Julio Colomba. Legal Briefs. January 28, 2015.

Margerum v. City of Buffalo

By Theodore Hatzi-Antich, Meriem Hubbard, Joshua P. Thompson, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. December 1, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Is Obamacare Unworkable as Written?

Policy Report. January/February 2015.

From Basic to Halliburton

M. Todd Henderson and Adam C. Pritchard. Regulation. Winter 2014-2015.

Originalism v. Minimalism

Policy Report. November/December 2014.


Harnessing the Debt Ceiling Debate to Limit Government:
What Can Be Done to Check and Balance Washington?

Featuring Ilya Shapiro and Roger Pilon. March 17, 2015. Policy Forum.

King v. Burwell: Obamacare at the Supreme Court Again

Featuring Michael F. Cannon and Ilya Shapiro. March 5, 2015. Policy Forum.

Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care

Featuring Michael F. Cannon. February 24, 2015. Book Forum.