William J. Quirk

Professor William J. Quirk is a professor of law at the University of South Carolina.  He has published three books: Abandoned (1989), Judicial Dictatorship (1995), and Courts & Congress: America's Unwritten Constitution (2008). He wrote an Introduction to the 2002 reprinting of Clinton Rossiter's Constitutional Dictatorship Princeton University Press (1948), the reprinting of Malcolm Jewell's Politics of Reapportionment Transaction Publishers (2010), and William J. Watkins' Divinely Anointed Judges: Restoring Popular Sovereignty (2011).

Latest by William J. Quirk in Chronicles

Results: 47 Articles found.
  • January 2010

    Too Big to Fail: The Underlying Cause

    The vigorous debate the British are having is, for the most part, not occurring in the United States. Our leaders seem largely satisfied with the status quo—let the big dogs eat.

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  • The Duopolists
    November 2009

    The Duopolists

    The two major parties, as Judge Richard Posner writes, “exert virtually complete control over American government.” They are what economists call a duopoly. Does the duopoly do a reasonable job of presenting candidates the people want?

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  • November 2009

    What Now?

    According to The New Yorker (September 27), “America did not plunge into an economic abyss” because of the government’s “bold stroke” guaranteeing money-market funds and flipping Goldman Sachs into a bank holding company.

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  • October 2011

    Back From the Brink

    On July 11 President Obama said that thanks to his “swift and aggressive action . . . we’ve been able to pull our financial system and our economy back from the brink.” Six days later, Larry Summers repeated the analogy: “We were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year but we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss.”

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  • September 2009

    The Gamblers’ Club

    On July 15 Goldman Sachs reported that its second-quarter profits were the highest in 140 years. It netted $3.4 billion on $13.4 billion in revenue (78 percent of which came from trading and principal investments and 11 percent from investment banking). Exactly which trades brought in such large profits is said to be proprietary.

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  • August 2009

    The $15 Trillion End Run An “Oligarchy of Interests”

    “Another Crisis like this one and the West will be wiped out,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 1. “Once we have overcome this Crisis, the question will be how can we return to a path of virtue as far as public debts are concerned.”

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  • June 2009

    Bailing Out the Bucket Shops

    Since September 2008 an awful lot of Americans have lost 40 to 50 percent of their net worth. According to Bloomberg News, the federal government, during the same period, has committed $11.3 trillion in loans, guarantees, and investments to bail out the financial system.

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  • Just One More Thing

    Alexander Hamilton said debt is a blessing: It oils the wheels of business and enhances national power. Jefferson said debt is a curse: It binds future generations without their consent, striking at the very heart of the Republic—the consent of the governed.

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  • Pick Yourself Up

    In his Inaugural Address, President Obama declared: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.” The President was paraphrasing Fred Astaire from the 1936 movie Swingtime.

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  • The Financial Crisis: How It Happened, and Why It Is Still Happening
    February 2009

    The Financial Crisis: How It Happened, and Why It Is Still Happening

    “Stock-jobbers will become the praetorian guard of the government, at once its tool and its tyrant, bribed by its largesses and overawing it by clamours and combinations,” wrote James Madison in 1791. He and Thomas Jefferson both knew that Alexander Hamilton’s debt and financing policies would ultimately undermine the victory for democracy won in the American Revolution.

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  • October 2008

    Federal Police Again

    In the May issue, I asked, “Do We Want a Federal Police Force?” (Views). I pointed out that Congress is passing too many laws that duplicate traditional state criminal laws. The problem with this redundancy is that federal enforcement, like that at Waco and Ruby Ridge, is usually irresponsible.

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  • Do We Want a Federal Police Force?
    May 2008

    Do We Want a Federal Police Force?

    Probably the last thing that would have occurred to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer on his way to meet “Kristen” in Room 870 of D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel was that both he and the Emperor’s Club VIP were under FBI surveillance for federal crimes—prostitution and a financial crime called “structuring.”

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  • January 2007

    Forgotten Strippers

    In 1994, the Republicans, for the first time in 40 years, took control of both Houses of Congress. In 2000, after some controversy, the GOP secured the presidency. Now, they have lost both houses and look to be well on their way to losing the presidency in 2008.

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  • September 2006

    Republicans and DoMA

    Republicans, including President George W. Bush, may have some explaining to do if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act.

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  • DOMA

    President Bush, in his State of the Union Address, repeated a campaign promise: “Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges.

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  • President Bush Can End “Gay Marriage” If He Wants To
    February 2005

    President Bush Can End “Gay Marriage” If He Wants To

    In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ignited our most recent culture war when it discovered a constitutional right to sodomize (Lawrence and Garner v. Texas).

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  • January 2005

    What’s Next for the Imperial Judiciary?

    “How much power Congress has to block Supreme Court consideration of the constitutionality of its laws is an open question.” This, the Washington Post said in a September 23, 2004, editorial, is “somewhat surprising.”

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  • Who Will Judge the Judges?
    January 2005

    Who Will Judge the Judges?

    Abraham Lincoln, in his 1860 Cooper Union speech, asked, “What is the frame of government under which we live?” The answer must be, he said, the Constitution of the United States.

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  • October 2004

    H.R. 3313 and the Imperial Judiciary

    On July 19, three days before H.R. 3313 was debated, the ACLU issued notice of an “Urgent Briefing” entitled: “How the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 3313) Will Harm Civil Rights, and Violate the U.S. Constitution.”

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  • Getting Off the Docket

    Is President Bush kidding his conservative base on the “gay marriage” issue? There is no question, if we stay on the road we are on, that the Supreme Court will decide whether Massachusetts can impose its law on the other states.

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Results: 47 Articles found.



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