Rob Natelson

Rob Natelson ( is a senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence for the Heartland Institute and a former constitutional law professor. His writings on the Constitution and the Founding Fathers are frequently cited at the U.S. Supreme Court, both by justices and by parties.

The Constitution’s ‘Poetic’ Preamble


The person most responsible for the Constitution’s final form was Gouverneur Morris. The Preamble, which begins with “We the People,” is one of the world’s most recognizable bits of prose — prose that, at least in some ways, approaches poetry. Morris had been well educated in poetics. At King’s College (now Columbia University), his two […]

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Arizona Calls First National Convention of States in 150 Years


Americans finally have a real chance to “clean up the mess in Washington.” That’s the implication of the news that the Arizona legislature has called the first national “convention of states” in over 150 years. The conclave will meet in Phoenix on September 12. Its purpose is to plan for a later convention to propose […]

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How to Replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court


President-elect Trump says he wants to nominate a justice like the late Antonin Scalia to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means a justice who follows the judicial philosophy of “originalism.” Originalism is the view that we should interpret the Constitution much as we interpret other legal documents — in accordance with the understanding of the […]

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Solving the Anti-Clinton, Anti-Trump Forces’ Dilemma


Dissatisfaction with the presidential nominees of both major parties is at record levels, and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to make embarrassing missteps. By the time the Electoral College meets to choose the president on December 19, the dissatisfaction may be overwhelming. Both Republicans and Democrats may be unhappy with their choices, but they […]

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Legislative Reapportionment: The Supreme Court Steps Back


The Supreme Court recently stepped back from its campaign to impose its political preferences on the states. In Evenwel v. Abbott, the justices held while the U.S. Constitution requires states to apportion their legislatures solely by population, the Constitution does not prescribe a particular way of counting population. Justice Clarence Thomas contended the Constitution does […]

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