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

When It Comes to Politics, Corruption Is Subtler Than You Think

By Trevor Burrus. Washington Post. May 3, 2016.

There Are Better Reasons to Vote against Trump Than Judge Picks

By Ilya Shapiro. The Federalist. April 20, 2016.

President Obama’s DAPA Order Oversteps His Immigration Powers

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Cato Studies

Articles

Harris v. Quinn and the Extraordinary Privilege of Compulsory Unionization

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

From Status to Contract to Status: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and the Primitivism of Politics

Trevor Burrus. New York University Journal of Law and Liberty. Vol. 9. No. 1. 2015.

Hobby Lobby and the Future of Freedom

Ilya Shapiro. National Affairs. No. 23. Spring 2015.

Public Filings

Delaware Strong Families v. Denn

By Trevor Burrus, Ilya Shapiro, Paul Avelar, Paul Sherman, & Dana Berliner. Legal Briefs. May 2, 2016.

Timbervest, LLC v. Securities & Exchange Commission

By Ilya Shapiro and Thaya Brook Knight. Legal Briefs. April 29, 2016.

Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley

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Cato Reviews & Journals

Buckley v. Valeo, Forty Years Later

Policy Report. March/April 2016.

Free to Marry, Free to Bake

Policy Report. March/April 2016.

The Madisonian System: A Republic If We Can Keep It

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Events

Protecting Religious Liberty

Featuring Neal McCluskey, Doug Bandow, Trevor Burrus, Roger Pilon, & Ilya Shapiro. June 14, 2016. Conference.

Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People

Featuring Randy E. Barnett and Roger Pilon. April 21, 2016. Book Forum.

Will Obamacare Trump Religious Organizations? A Preview of Zubik v. Burwell on the Eve of Oral Argument

Featuring Josh Blackman and Ilya Shapiro. March 18, 2016. Policy Forum.