Archives for Limited Government

Minnesota Legislative Leadership Defends Voter ID in Court

During this biennium, the Minnesota Legislature proposed a new constitutional amendment:

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require that all voters present an approved form of photographic identification prior to voting; all voters be subject to identical eligibility verification standards regardless of the time of their registration; and the state provide at no charge an approved photographic identification to eligible voters?

If voters approve, the constitution would be amended (see complete change here). The amendment has been controversial throughout the last two years, but opponents have taken new steps of late.

On May 30, the ACLU of Minnesota, the League of Women Voters and other group filed suit with the Minnesota Supreme Court, arguing that the proposal “is misleading and fails to inform voters of changes in election laws that could compromise people’s fundamental right to vote.” The groups also calls the question “unreasonable and misleading.” They want the amendment struck from the ballot.

Nominally, the lawsuit is against Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who is responsible for overseeing election laws. But Ritchie is also in agreement with the anti-ID argument.

So it’s encouraging to see that the leaders of the government body that put the question on the ballot is taking some steps to defend it. (For one thing, if you propose an amendment, you ought to at least defend in court its placement before the people.) So the Minnesota Republican legislative caucuses “announced Friday that they will file paperwork to request to intervene in litigation brought forth by special interest groups in an effort to remove the Photo Identification Constitutional Amendment from the ballot.”

As far as “good government” ideas go, securing the integrity of the voting process has got to be near the top of the list. Click here for previous commentaries on the topic from staff and scholars at the Center of the American Experiment.


Luncheon Event on January 25th. Executive Orders: Executive Necessity or Executive Overreach?


The Minnesota Lawyers


The University of St. Thomas Law School Chapters

of the Federalist Society


Proudly Present:


Executive Orders: 

Executive Necessity or Executive Overreach?

A panel discussion featuring:

  • Noel Francisco, Jones Day, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice
  • Heidi Kitrosser, Julius E. Davis Professor of Law, Universityof Minnesota Law School
  • Peter J. Nelson, Director of Public Policy Center of the American Experiment

January 25, 2012

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

University of St. Thomas Law School, Room MSL 235

1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Click Here for a Map and Parking Information

The Lawyers Chapter Will Apply for 1.0 CLE Credits 

Lunch Will Be Served  (Free for Students, $10 for Lawyers and Other Guests) 


Please RSVP by January 24th to Nathan Swanson at nswanson30@gmail.com


Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Today is an underappreciated day in America: Bill of Rights Day. To paraphrase Nat Hentoff’s essay in the Daily Caller, enjoy your rights while you still have them.

The voluntary exchange of goods and services–free markets–does not stand on its own. In its fullest form, is is supported by a legal/political/cultural system. That system, among other things, includes a government and law that protects people from threats of violence from within and without, and promotes a peaceful, predictable means of settling disputes. But because government is given power that no other institution has, it also needs to be limited, so that it does not consume commerce or culture.

America’s founding fathers laid out the Bill of Rights as one element of their attempt to create a necessary government that was necessarily limited. But words in a document are not enough; the people must want and demand that the ideas of the document are respected, both by the citizenry and officials in government.

The answer to the old question, “who guards the guardians” is “we the people.”

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