Not many people have had a kind word for Prohibition on its hundredth anniversary, but let us pause to note that its proponents and opponents alike displayed a constitutional scrupulosity that has rarely been seen since in our country. The Prohibitionists conceded that a constitutional amendment was necessary to enable the federal government to ban alcohol, rather than trying to retrofit an existing provision of the Constitution for their purpose. Sean Beienburg, author of Prohibition, the Constitution, and States’ Rights, tells the stories of many politicians who opposed the 18th Amendment but nonetheless felt obligated by its existence to support …
This article appears as “A Zombie Amendment” in the March 9, 2020, print edition of National Review.
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