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Against Conscience Taxes by Ilya Shapiro

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Using Tax Reform to Check the Administrative State

J. Kennerly Davis July 19, 2017
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Throughout the 2016 campaign and the first months of his administration, President Trump has repeatedly pledged to dramatically reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on American businesses by federal agencies.

One of the more significant actions taken by the President to fulfill this commitment came early in his administration in the form of Executive Order (“EO”) 13771, titled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”  The EO imposes two restraints on executive departments and agencies (“agencies”) while formally exempting independent regulatory bodies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from its terms.  Both restraints have long been sought by regulatory reformers. [Read More]

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President Trump's Religious Liberties Executive Order - Podcast

Timothy Courtney May 15, 2017
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On May 4, President Trump signed a Religious Liberty Executive Order relaxing IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt organizations like churches from political speech and activities. The “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” Executive Order also directs “the Secretary of Health and Human Services” to “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

An earlier version of the Executive Order was leaked in February, and contained many provisions, specifically about LGBTQ discrimination and federal contractors, which did not make it into the final. Prof. Carl Esbeck of the University of Missouri School of Law and Mr. Gregory Baylor of the Alliance Defending Freedom joined us to discuss the order and its precursor. 

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Fairholme Funds, Inc. v. United States: Litigation Discovery and the Most Transparent Administration in History

Kennedy, Korematsu, and the Travel Ban

John Reid February 10, 2017
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President Trump’s recent travel ban sparked an interesting constitutional discussion regarding the limits of executive authority.  Assuming Judge Robart’s ruling, blocking President Trump’s executive order, does make its way to the Supreme Court, the potential Supreme Court ruling would have broad implications beyond President Trump’s executive order regarding a travel ban.  The reverberations of such a ruling will likely effect presidential powers for years to come. For the liberal bloc of the Court to have any hopes of overturning the largest portions of President Trump’s order and create new precedent they need the vote of Justice Kennedy, the so-called “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. In order to draw Justice Kennedy to their side they could offer one incredibly enticing opportunity: the chance to overturn the universally reviled Korematsu v. United States. [Read More]