1-The Rule of Law

Basic Skills
United States Law
Researching Bills
How to Read a Statutory Citation
Where to Find Your State’s Constitution and Laws
How to Read a Caselaw Citation
How Not to Read a Constitutional Citation
Reading the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States of America

Reading Law, for Laymen
Legal Definitions Used in This Course
Critical Thinking
Judicial Review
History: Enlightenment Government
Rights and Liberties
Powers and Protections
Privileges and Immunities
Expressed or Implied?
Why Judges Disagree
Fun with Originalism
Six Reasons to Overturn a Precedent
Techniques of Four-Corners Analysis
Cheer Up!

Corruption 101
What Must Be a Law?
The Preamble and National Values
The Constitution Defines Corruption
Public or Private Conduct
A Bright-Line Rule for Public Conduct
The Champs
More Anti-Corruption Statutes
Who Can be Held Accountable?
Members of Congress are Officers
Invalid Amendment and Caselaw Drift
Is the Constitution Vague? 

2-Getting the Facts

The Media
Media Bias
Public or Private Speech
Online Speech and Social Media

Truth in Government
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Addressing the Public for a Public Purpose
Two Rights: to Speak and to Hear 
Internal Government Speech
History: Whistleblowers and National Security
Truth and Accuracy
The Public Debate
More Uses for Truth and Accuracy
Public Courts


The Most Important Clause in American Law
Restoring the Preamble
Preamble or Purview?
Steps to a Constitution
An Invalid Amendment by Ruling
Constitution versus Semi-Constitution
…and One for the Historians
Legal Fantasies and Nightmares

Restoring Invalidly Amended Text
Three Methods of Restoration
Can Congress Defy the Supreme Court?
A Check on Judicial Review
To Support the Constitution
One Mean, Tough Bill
Documenting the Constitution

4-Drafting Bills

Basics of Bill Drafting

Reform Bills
Is the Time Right for Change?
What to Ask about Political Process Reforms
How Much Change is Enough?
Statute or Constitutional Amendment?
What to Ask Before Amending the Constitution
Example of a Bill in Full

Pop Quiz: What's Wrong with This Bill?   

5-Access to Government

The Right of Access
The Right of Petition

Fraud, Coercion, Bribery and Lobbying
Lobbying the Bureaucracy: The Iron Triangle 
Money! Presents! Benefits! Promises!
Lobbying the Chief Executive 
What Does Direction of Exercise Mean?
Penalizing Political Coercion and Fraud
Who Judges the Judges?

Standards for Government Accountability
About the Government Accountability Act
The Compensation Clauses
Rebellion Against the Constitution
Judicial Ethics

Access to State Government
Protecting Ballot Initiatives

Adversarial Government
Balancing Congressional Rules
Congressional Rules and the Courts
Balancing the Legislative Agenda
Equal Power in Public Functions

Bribery On Trial
McDonnell v US: How It Works, When It Works
…and When It Doesn’t

6-Rights and Powers

The People’s Reserved Rights and Powers
Persons and Peoples & Like That
The Three Functions of Amendment IX
Function 1: Rights Not Mentioned
Function 2: The Least Abridgment or Denial
Function 3: No Gaps in Rights Coverage 
Bonus Function: Private Action
Amendment X

Extraconstitutional Rights and Powers
Full Sovereignty? or Quasi-?
Government Immunities
Sovereign Immunity
Absolute and Qualified Immunity
Plenary Power
We Have a Bad Idea

7-Separation of Powers

Power Shifting
Another Take on Departmentalism
The Nondelegation Doctrine
Shifting Regulatory Powers

Congress in Conflict
Congressional Encroachment
Court Stripping Fails
Court Stripping Gets Up & Fails Again
Article I Courts
Judicial Rotation
Retroactive Laws
Nomination Lists
Linger and Lapse
The Legislative Veto
Congressional Abdication

President in Conflict
Law or Executive Action?
Line-Item Vetoes and Signing Statements
Emergency Powers
Firing Appointees
Court Packing
What Can a President Do Unilaterally? The Full List
Bonus Proof!

Judiciary in Conflict
All Cases and Controversies
The Cert Pool
Constitutional Avoidance
The Myth of the Political Question
Revesting Jurisdiction
The Magistracy
Special Masters
Abstention and Pendency
Reducing Caseload Lawfully
Judicial Encroachment
Jury Nullification
Judicial Activism
In Reality, Neither Final nor Infallible

States in Conflict
History: The Nation and the Federation of States
Selective Incorporation
States’ Role in Making US Law
The Doctrine of Anti-Commandeering
State Executive Orders

8-Public Elections

Parties, Elections & the Courts
What is an Impartial Election?
History and Current Caselaw

Regulating Elections
The Secret of the Poll Tax Amendment
The Public Interest
Avoiding Partisanship in Electoral Process
Redelegating the Power to Regulate
Parties, Candidates and Voters
The Ballot Access Test
No Right or Power to Govern
Equality Among Parties
Self-Governance Controls in Elections
Federal Candidacy
Equal Protection in Primaries
Indirect Restriction
Independent Voters
Party Conventions
Forcing Voters to Associate
Do Parties Have Personhood Rights?
Party Campaign Funding

Can Primaries be Privately Governed?
Foreign Power
Can the People Reclaim Elections?
52 USC 30101

The Electoral College
The Electoral Count Act
Six Myths about the Electoral College
What’s Wrong with the Electoral College?
Why Do We Use an Electoral College?
Electing Presidents by Popular Ballot
What Protections Already Exist?
Election by Allocation
National Popular Vote Compacts
What’s Wrong with these Methods?
Chiafolo v Washington
Qualifications for Elector
Time, Place or Manner, Not Outcome
Elector Means Voter
Voting is Discretionary
What Can We Do Right Now?

What We All Agree On
Ending Electoral Denial
Impartial Primary and General Elections
Ballot Access for Candidates and Electors
How to Make Elections Public and Impartial
Why Start with This?
Analysts, You’re Up!
Calling All Independent Candidates

The America Fights Corruption! Course


9-Free, Fair & Safe Elections

Safeguarding Elections and Voting
What is a Fair Election?
Preventing Voter Fraud
When Can a Foreign National Vote?

Voting as a Right
A Right and a Privilege
Can Voting Be a Right if Not Everyone Has It?
History: Franchise Denial
Parole and the Vote
Ending Denial by Statute
Amendment and the Vote

Voting as a Civic Duty
Increasing Voter Turnout
The Abstention Option
Should Voting be Mandatory?

10-Campaign Funding

How to End Citizens United 
Errors Shouldn't Affect Precedent
The Constitution Says Corporations Aren't People
Corporations Don't Need Rights
Money Is Not Speech
Why Not Amend Anyway?

Cleaning Up Campaign Funding
Statutes and Cases
Limiting Campaign Duration
10 Myths about Campaign Finance Reform
Tax Rebates, Credits, or Campaign Vouchers
The Emperor Has No Clothes

The Public Debate is Self-Governance
The Constitution and Politics
Consent of the Governed
Preserving Consent in a Democracy

Public Campaign Funding
Why Pay for Campaigns? You Already Do
Public Funding Limits Campaign Spending
Public Funding Safeguards Electoral Outcomes   
Public Funding Enforces Campaign Ethics
Foreign Governments and Campaigns
The Incumbency Advantage
Can We Do Without Public Funding?

Effective Public Campaign Funding
Percentage of GDP
Protecting Freedom of Speech
Limiting Repetition, Not Information

Ending Partisan or Foreign Electoral Control
Reducing the Incumbency Advantage 


Representation on Trial: Evenwel v Abbott
Does Counting Everyone Disadvantage Voters?
The Context of a Clause
Congress and State Legislatures Represent the Same People.
So Equal Weight Doesn't Even Mean Citizen Votes?
One Vote, One Person or One Person, One Vote
History: Who is Represented? Who Votes?
The Decision
Procedural Rules Binding Future Benches

Frozen Apportionment
Pop Quiz: How Many Reps Does Your State Have?
Frozen Apportionment Gets Worse
An Invalid Amendment by Statute
We Don’t Need the Freeze
A Floor and a Ceiling
Repeal or Amend?

Leashing the Gerrymander
Power in the House and Senate
The Dangers of Drawing Districts
Redistricting Without Gerrymandering
Options for Balanced Representation 
Proportionate Representation
Two-Factor Districting
Redistricting for Balanced Access
The National District Map
Redistricting and the Courts
Redistricting and Private Government
Redistricting for State Offices
The District of Columbia

Income Equality and Self-Governance
One Person, One Vote, One Dollar?
Why Seat the Protection Here?

12-Extensions of US Jurisdiction

The Constitution Follows the Flag
Civil War
The Whole Text
Where None Have Gone Before

13- Checks & Balances

Federal Fiscal Management
Power of the Purse
The National Debt and the Deficit
Appropriations Riders
Executive Spending
Transfers and Reprogramming
Backdoor Spending
Modern Financial Oversight Acts

No Private Government!
All Functions Are Accounted For
Titles of Nobility
Public-Private Partnership 
Transferring Government as Private Property

Private Finance, Public Money
Economic/Financial Terms
History: Banking Oversight in America, 1781-1913
The Federal Reserve
History: Banking Regulation, 1913-1980
10 Steps to Picking the Public’s Pocket
Goes Well with Tea and Quarantine
Curbing Influence Peddling


Rights of Government Officers
Who Guards the Guards Who Guard the Guards?
Professional Discipline

Enforcement in Congress
Standards for Impeachment
Expulsion and Impeachment are Not Discretionary. 
Impeachment and the Courts
Forfeiture of Public Office
Candidates Are Not Officers Yet
Forfeiture of Delegation
Amendment XXV: Standards for Presidential Inability
Term Limits

Enforcement in the Courts 
Using the Courts
Basic Procedure
Administrative Hearings
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Special-Defendant Courts
Justice Online

Should the Department of Justice be an Independent Agency?
The Department of Justice
Enforcing the Law is a Judicial Function
State, Federal and Private Prosecution

Executive Judiciary? Legislative Judiciary?
Administrative Courts
Administrative Agencies’ Exemption from Judicial Review
The Quasi-Judiciary
Administrative Procedural Rulemaking
Administrative Substantive Rulemaking


Amending the Constitution
Valid Amendment
The Con-Con Con
The Final Extremity

28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Why This Amendment?
Two Years or Bust

16-Making It All Work

Passing State and Local Law
Using Ballot Initiatives

Passing United States Law
Stages of Passage in Congress
Parliamentary Procedure
Votes to Amend the Constitution

Public Participation
Hearings and Public Comment
Passing a Law: First Moves
Using Petitions
Safe and Lawful Public Activism
Avoiding Corruption

Free Congress - Be Congress!
The America Fights Corruption! Caucus
The Hot 500: Indy, Third & Write-In Candidates to Congress 
How to Write In a Candidate using Electronic Voting 
Be Congress: Be a Write-In Candidate



Continuity of Congress
Inability to Attend Congress
Quorum Vacancy
The Balance of Powers in Emergencies
State Powers in Emergencies


Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence
Appendix B: A Slate of State and United States Reform Bills
Appendix C: Government Accountability Resources

Chapter Notes