As Americans celebrate Independence Day this Fourth of July with barbeques and fireworks, more than a few patriots and lovers of liberty are instead mourning the steady loss of freedom; the erosion of unalienable rights that seem to be trampled upon more and more after each election. But despite the current climate — perfectly illustrated by the never-ending series of “Homeland Security” reports characterizing the beliefs of America’s Founding Fathers as potentially terroristic — optimism about the future of freedom and American independence is growing as well.

On July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, written mostly by a passionate lover of liberty named Thomas Jefferson. In the document, those original American patriots outlined a series of bold and timeless statements that still reverberate around the world to this day.

Our latest "Freedom Index," the third for the current (112th) Congress, shows how every U.S. representative and senator voted on key issues such as raising the national debt limit, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank (a corporate-welfare program), and developing our oil and gas resources. We encourage everyone to go to our new index to see how their own Congressmen voted on each of the 10 key issues, as well as overall.

On June 18, Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire signed into law HB 146, a bill granting to juries in that state the right “to judge the application of the law in relationship to the facts in controversy.”

Despite Thursday’s controversial Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare, states retain the right and authority to nullify the healthcare law, and the state of Missouri, among many others, is undertaking efforts to do just that. According to Missouri legislators, regardless of the High Court's ruling, Missouri voters will maintain the opportunity to vote for or against the so-called Affordable Healthcare Act in November. And Missouri is not the only state seeking to circumvent ObamaCare.

We’re all familiar with the classic Shell Game. We follow the ball. We know the huckster's tricks and we know he is moving it around to trip us up, but we believe our eyes are faster than the huckster’s hands.

Since the day in November of last year when the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the ObamaCare case, Americans have watched the ball of the individual mandate. We reckoned that we knew where the huckster was going to put it and some of us thought there was even a chance that it would fall off the table completely.

Then yesterday, after we all had placed our bets, confident that it would show up under the Commerce Clause shell, the huckster ended the game by revealing the location of the individual mandate ball: It was under the Taxation Clause shell. We all guessed wrong and we all lost.

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