COMMENTARY

Why The Parties Line Up That Way in Montana Zoning Battles

Missoula has been suffering one of those land use wars so typical of some Montana cities. The city council, which is controlled by “progressives,” has voted to ease zoning restrictions to allow backyard houses in all neighborhoods, thereby feeding its ideological devotion to crowding. Or, to use their euphemism, “infill.” A striking aspect of infill […]

Abuse a Feature, Not Failure of Bigger Government

I think the most significant thing to come out of the trio (so far) of Obama administration scandals last week was how they pointed out the cognitive and practical failures of “progressive” beliefs about big government. They’re scrambling to define the abuses and failures of government agencies and individuals as aberrations of a government that oversees, well, […]

Rob Natelson: Some Reasons Why There Is Probably A Lot More Improper Tax Agency Targeting You Don’t Hear About

The news outlets tell us the IRS has been targeting conservative non-profits for unfavorable treatment. Based on my own experience, my guess is that these things happen far more often than reported—both on the state and federal levels. In the 1990s, I was the subject of some suspicious audits by the Montana Department of Revenue […]

Thin Gruel for “Social” Republicans

By: Carl Graham Bozeman: Barry Goldwater, in a line that may have cost him the presidency, famously quipped that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue. Turns out he might have been on to something there, and Montana’s latest legislative session is a great example. […]

Why We Must Act Now To Use the Constitution’s Amendment Process to Restore Fiscal Sanity

When they wrote and adopted the Constitution, the Founders inserted a way for the states to amend the document if they had to rein in an abusive federal government. The procedure says that if 2/3 of the state legislatures pass “applications” for an amendment, Congress must call a convention (meeting) of the states to draft […]

New Evidence Suggests Obama’s “Recess Appointments” Are Not Valid

Litigation over President Obama’s “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board is going to the Supreme Court. A similar battle is being waged among lawyers about whether the President’s appointments to that Board, and to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are constitutional. At stake is the legal validity of hundreds of administrative decisions and […]

Guest Blog: Why Earth Day is Bunk

Ok, the title is my interpretation, but Todd Myers from the Washington Policy Center lays out why it’s hypocrisy at best. There’s also a link at the bottom from Montana’s own Jim DeLong on the EPA’s regulatory overreach and the Supreme Court’s response…Carl Earth Day Exposes the Ironies of the Left’s Trendy Environmentalism On April 22, […]

Rob Natelson: Three Cheers for Speaker Blasdell and the State House!!! (to which is appended a heads-up from past experience)

Carl Graham and I were in the legislative galleries in Helena last Friday, when the state stepped back from the brink. Democrats and some Republicans were pushing for the state to yoke itself to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, enticed by “free federal money.” So they amended a bill designed to keep the state free from […]

Rob Natelson:The Constitutional Issues In Same-Sex Marriage

I’ve found that most of the discussion about same-sex marriage, even among lawyers, tends to mis-characterize the constitutional issues. This is particularly true of the “equal protection” issues. Under the Constitution as originally understood, jurisdiction over domestic relations outside federal enclaves and federal territories was reserved to the states. State laws dealing with domestic relations […]

Rob Natelson: Protect Democracy: End Election Day Registration

Carting uninformed, transient voters to the polls to vote for the political boss-man is a time-dishonored practice of demagogues everywhere. It has no place in Montana. House Bill 30, currently pending in the Montana legislature, would curb this abuse by ending the practice of voting-day registration. It would require voters to register at least four […]