Category Economic Liberty

Justice Don Willett’s Uncontroversial Commitment to the Constitution

The 1905 Supreme Court case Lochner v. New York has long been a lightning rod for the claim that unelected judges have no place in our Constitutional system striking down laws purporting to ensure public health and safety. The periled precedent played its part this week as UT Law student Noah Horwitz dutifully deployed it against […]

The Proposed “Ad Tax” Would be Unconstitutional Under Central Hudson

[This post originally appeared here on The Hill’s Opinion Blog on August 4, 2017.] Fox News and CNN have something in common: they both rely on advertising to promote their journalistic messages and to help generate revenue needed to carry out their missions. Historically, the expenses associated with such advertising have not been subject to […]

House Member Chaffetz Wants You To Buy Him A House

Retiring Congressman Jason Chaffetz announced, on his way out the door, that he believes Congress should provide themselves a $2,500 housing allowance, in order to better cope with the obnoxious cost of DC accommodations. Since congressmen maintain a residence in the District in addition to their household commitments back home, the logic goes, the excessive […]

The Privilege or Immunities Clause, Originalism, and Gender Equality

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . . U.S. Const., amend. XIV In 1873, in The Slaughter-House Cases and Bradwell v. Illinois, the Supreme Court took a sledgehammer to the idea that the Privileges or Immunities Clause of […]

Economic Protectionism, Standing Alone, Is Unconstitutional

Ever since the New Deal, federal courts have taken a very deferential approach to economic regulations coming from the federal or state governments. Fearing a return to the dreaded “Lochner Era” (which really was not that bad, when you get past the sensationalist invocations of this dreaded anti-canonical boogeyman and dig down into the facts), the […]

Paternalistic Justifications for Regulation – “Laws for Thee but not for Me”

“You don’t know what’s for your own good.” That, in essence, sums up the justification underlying a fair amount of command-and-control regulation. Individuals, on their own, are not capable of acting in their own true self-interest. Government, having the benefit of the collective wisdom of the masses, is in a better position to look out […]

Thinking Out Loud: Collectivism and Control

Poor Karl Marx. The man’s ideas were all the rage in the twentieth century, but he had long since been deceased by the time the proletariat revolt he dreamed of occurred in nation after nation the world over. Between Russia and China and their respective spheres of power, it is estimated that, at communism’s high-water […]