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Will: A Texas-sized license-plate dispute

Constitution doesn't permit governments to determine whether speech is sufficiently offensive.

December 17, 2014 6:15 pmLoading…

Tax reform could lead to better economic growth

Good plan would take something from every constituency.

December 13, 2014 6:00 pmLoading…

Overcriminalizing minor offenses leads to tragedies like Garner's

Mistakes are made when more and more behaviors are criminalized.

December 10, 2014 6:00 pmLoading…

Buying fictitious 'war on women' is for the mindless

The so-called war is a substitute for serious thought.

October 16, 2014 11:23 amLoading…

George Will: Health-care law hangs in the balance — again

If the president wants to witness a refutation of his assertion that the survival of the Affordable Care Act is assured, come Thursday he should stroll the 13 blocks from his office to the nation’s second-most important court, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. There he can hear an argument …

May 04, 2014 12:00 am

Governance difficult without survey numbers

When Houston was competing with a Brazilian city to be the site of a Japanese-owned plant, Houston could provide the Japanese with pertinent information about the educational attainments and other qualities of its workforce and the number of Japanese speakers in the area.

July 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Military despotism may be Egypt's preferable tyranny

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi knows neither Thomas Jefferson's advice that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities" nor the description of Martin Van Buren as a politician who "rowed to his object with muffled oars."

July 11, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

President says, 'Never mind,' does as he pleases

At this intermission in the immigration debate, with House Republicans preparing to look askance at the Senate's handiwork, the argument is becoming ever stranger.

July 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Battle of Gettysburg shows that choices matter

Editor's note: On July 1, 1863, federal troops began firing on Confederate infantry at the start of the Battle of Gettysburg.

July 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Time caught up with the Voting Rights Act

"But history did not end in 1965."

June 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Supreme Court tangled up in racial preferences

"In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race."

June 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Obama in Berlin: Ich bin ein amateur

The question of whether Barack Obama's second term will be a failure was answered in the affirmative before his Berlin debacle, which has recast the question, which now is: Will this term be silly, even scary in its detachment from reality?

June 23, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Predictors of upward mobility are close to home

All men are by nature equal,

June 20, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Legislating behavior undermines Constitution

In May 1918, with America embroiled in the First World War, Iowa's Gov. William Lloyd Harding dealt a blow against Germany. His Babel Proclamation - that was its title; you cannot make this stuff up - decreed: "Conversation in public places, on trains and over the telephone should be in the …

June 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Partisans, bullies infest the regulatory state

As soon as the Constitution permitted him to run for Congress, Al Salvi did. In 1986, just 26 and fresh from the University of Illinois law school, he sank $1,000 of his own money, which was most of his money, into his campaign to unseat an incumbent Democratic congressman. Salvi studied for…

June 13, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Immortal sugar supports are sweet only to big producers

The steamboat conveying Andrew Jackson up the Ohio River toward his tumultuous 1829 inauguration had brooms lashed to its bow, symbolizing Old Hickory's vow to clean up Washington. But sweeping out Washington's Augean stables, like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, is work so steady it never ends.

June 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

How we can restore justice to an unjust system

Libertarians believe government should have a compelling reason before it restricts an individual's liberty. Today's liberals believe almost any reason will do, because liberty is less important than equality, fraternity, fighting obesity and many other aspirations.

June 06, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Train-safety mandate one of many that are off the rails

Texting while driving is dangerous, especially if you are driving a train. A commuter train engineer was texting on Sept. 12, 2008, near Los Angeles, when he missed a stop signal and crashed into a freight train. Twenty-five people died.

June 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Texas court overrules Lord Byron, the dog lover

Lord Byron was, according to one of his legion of lovers, "mad, bad and dangerous to know," but he also loved dogs, which explains his cameo appearance in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion. It answered an interesting question in a way that shows how courts can avoid creating opportunities…

May 30, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'Blueprint' for handling harassment is coercive

Barack Obama, vowing to elevate Washington to the level of his fastidiousness, came from Chicago, where the political machine inoculates itself from scandals by the proliferation of them. Now, notice the scant attention being given to an assault on civil liberties by the misconceived Educati…

May 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Obama agenda is ensuring loss of trust in government

Leaving aside the seriousness of lawlessness, and the corruption of our civic culture by the professionally pious, this past week has been amusing. There was the spectacle of advocates of an ever-larger regulatory government expressing shock about such government's large capacity for misbeha…

May 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Watergate's lessons are as fresh today as 40 years ago

'He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to ... cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

May 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Immigrants will propel new economic growth

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is a gooey confection of seasonal sentiment. It also is an economic manifesto that Dickens hoped would hit with "twenty thousand times the force" of a political tract. It concerned a 19th-century debate that is pertinent to today's argument about immigration.

May 12, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Gov't unfairly restricting commercial speech

"The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."

May 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

A few signs that grown-ups are taking charge in Washington

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has told Richard Cordray not to bother. This is part of the recent evidence that government is getting some adult supervision.

April 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Waiving constitutional rights rarely ends well

Two of the three most infamous Supreme Court decisions were erased by events. The Civil War and postwar constitutional amendments effectively overturned Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which held that blacks could never have rights that whites must respect. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which up…

April 25, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

George Will: Keep an eye on this outside-the-box Republican

America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting. Consider the congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., who occupies the seat once held by Gerald Ford, embodiment of vanilla Republicanism. Justin Amash, 33, may seek the Senate seat being va…

April 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Congress' abnegation of power leads to more debt

The regulatory, administrative state, which progressives champion, is generally a servant of the strong, for two reasons. It responds to financially powerful and politically sophisticated factions. And it encourages rent-seekers to exploit opportunities for concentrated benefits and disperse…

April 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

'Central Park Five' telling may advance social justice

From Tom Paine's "Common Sense" to Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," American history is replete with examples of printed words accelerating social justice.

April 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Thatcher transformed Britain, helped bury socialism

She had the eyes of Caligula and the lips of Marilyn Monroe. So said Francois Mitterrand, the last serious socialist to lead a major European nation, speaking of Margaret Thatcher, who helped bury socialism as a doctrine of governance.

April 09, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

George Will: Diversity doesn't include tolerating pro-life view

We know Johns Hopkins University is devoted to diversity, because it says so. Its "Diversity and Inclusion Statement," a classic of the genre, says the university is "committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion ... by recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students."

April 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

George Will: Minions of political correctness infest schools

WASHINGTON - The real vocation of some people entrusted with delivering primary and secondary education is to validate this proposition: The three R's - formerly reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic - now are racism, reproduction and recycling. Especially racism. Consider Wisconsin's Department o…

April 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Try this baseball quiz (and it ain't over till it's over)

As the unendurable monotony of the offseason ends, celebrate baseball's return with mental calisthenics.

March 31, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

George Will: Presidents intervene; Congress' spine dissolves

"President Obama has arguably established the authority of the president to intervene militarily virtually anywhere without the consent or the approval of Congress, at his own discretion and for as long as he wishes."

March 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

George Will: Tinker with process, but first improve candidates

Because of the grotesquely swollen place the presidency now occupies in the nation's governance and consciousness, we are never not preoccupied with presidential campaigning. The Constitution's Framers would be appalled.

March 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Marriage case should make both sides nervous

"Under the Constitution, the regulation and control of marital and family relationships are reserved to the states."

March 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Gay marriage is a thicket of law and social science

When on March 26 the Supreme Court hears arguments about whether California's ban on gay marriages violates the constitutional right to "equal protection of the laws," these arguments will invoke the intersection of law and social science. The court should tread cautiously, if at all, on thi…

March 17, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Making Sentence B follow Sentence A with real style

WASHINGTON - When asked to explain the brisk pace of his novels, Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people skip."

March 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Regulating kids' social interactions is inappropriate

Rodney Francis is insufficiently ambitious. The pastor of the Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church in St. Louis has entered the fray over guns, violence and humanity's fallen nature with a plan for a "buyback" of children's toy guns. And toy swords and other make-believe weapons. There is, h…

March 10, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Voting Rights Act needs 21st century update

Progressives are remarkably uninterested in progress. Social Security is 78 years old and myriad social improvements have added 17 years to life expectancy since 1935, yet progressives insist the program remain frozen, like a fly in amber.

March 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Fed's monetary policy is having perverse results

RICHMOND, Va.

February 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

The sequester is a manufactured crisis

Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives - the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying "Wolf!" about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying "Hamster!"

February 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Why solitary confinement is self-defeating

WASHINGTON -

February 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

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