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

Emoluments Clause vs. The Trump Empire

By Walter Olson. philly.com. November 29, 2016.

Trump’s Victory Expands the Supreme Court — and Shrinks Its Docket

By Josh Blackman. National Review (Online). November 10, 2016.

The Senate Should Refuse to Confirm All of Hillary Clinton’s Judicial Nominees

By Ilya Shapiro. The Federalist. October 26, 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

Against Judicial Restraint

Ilya Shapiro. National Affairs. No. 29. Fall 2016.

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.

Public Filings

R.P. & S.P. v. Los Angeles Dept. of Children & Family Services

By Timothy Sandefur, Aditya Dynar, and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. November 8, 2016.

Bennie v. Munn

By Bradley A. Benbrook, Stephen M. Duvernay, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. November 4, 2016.

Piszel v. United States

By W. Scott Hastings, Andrew Buttaro, David G. Cabrales, Lucas C. Wohlford, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. October 14, 2016.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Events

The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do about It

Featuring Timothy Sandefur and Roger Pilon. October 11, 2016. Book Forum.

You Have the Right to Remain Innocent

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

Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power

Featuring Josh Blackman and Ilya Shapiro. September 28, 2016. Book Forum.