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The articles in this volume present various aspects of what the editors term a "principled judicial activism" whose proponents view the constitution not mainly as blueprint for majoritarian democracy but as a charter for limited government and individual rights.
With the appointment of William H. Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the United States and Antonin Scalia as associate justice, there is renewed interest in questions of judicial activism and the role of the courts in protecting personal and economic liberties. To further public discussion of these fundamental questions, the Cato Institute is pleased to present this debate between Judge Scalia and Richard A.Epstein, James Parker Hall Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and editor of the Journal of Legal Studies. These papers were originally delivered at the Cato Institute's conference "Economic Liberties and the Judiciary" on October 26,1984, and appeared in the Winter 1985 issue of the Cato Journal.
Law and economics can be considered as the most exciting development in legal scholarship in recent decades. This volume is the first all-encompassing bibliography in this area. It lists approximately 7000 publications, covering the whole area of law and economics, including `old' law and economics (topics such as antitrust law, labor law, tax law, social security, economic regulation, etc.) as well as `new' law and economics with such topics as tort law, contract law, family law, procedure, criminal law, etc.). The volume also includes the literature on the philosophical foundations and the fundamental concepts of the approach. Part Two gives a special survey of law and economics publications in Europe, written in other languages than English. The Bibliography of Law and Economics is an invaluable reference work for students, scholars, lawyers, economists and other people interested in this field.
Judicial activism is condemned by both right and left, for good reason: lawless courts are a threat to republican government. But challenging conventional wisdom, constitutional litigator Clint Bolick argues in David’s Hammer that far worse is a judiciary that allows the other branches of government to run roughshod over precious liberties. For better or for worse, only a vigorous judiciary can enforce the limits on executive and legislative action, protect constitutional rights, and tame unelected bureaucrats. That, Bolick demonstrates, is exactly the role the framers intended the courts to play, envisioning a judiciary deferential to proper democratic governance but bold in defense of freedom. But the historical record is painfully uneven. During the Warren era, courts protected freedom of speech and equal protection of the law but denigrated other important rights and took on executive and legislative powers that brought disrepute to the judiciary. The Rehnquist Court restored some balance, reining in judicial excesses and protecting property rights, but stopped far short of the activist judicial role the framers charted for the courts in policing conduct of other branches of government that exceeds constitutional boundaries. Bolick showcases numerous real-world examples of people whose rights to free speech, economic liberty, equal protection of the law, and private property were violated by government—victims of government oppression whose only recourse is the courts. David’s Hammer reclaims for the judiciary its intended role as the ultimate safeguard of a free society.
The American people are engaged in one of the most epic battles of all time — the battle between socialism and economic liberty. For most of the 20th century and into the 21st century, the United States has moved in the direction of welfare-state socialism. This essay — Economic Liberty and the Constitution — which originally appeared in a multipart series of essays in 2002 and 2003 in The Future of Freedom Foundation’s journal Future of Freedom, focuses on the battle over economic liberty that took place within the judiciary. The essay describes our heritage of economic liberty, tells how it was lost, and explains why it is such an important part of freedom.
In this collection, scholars and political leaders make the case for freedom, free enterprise, and the rule of law.
The Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution offers a comprehensive overview and introduction to the U.S. Constitution from the perspectives of history, political science, law, rights, and constitutional themes, while focusing on its development, structures, rights, and role in the U.S. political system and culture. This Handbook enables readers within and beyond the U.S. to develop a critical comprehension of the literature on the Constitution, along with accessible and up-to-date analysis. The historical essays included in this Handbook cover the Constitution from 1620 right through the Reagan Revolution to the present. Essays on political science detail how contemporary citizens in the United States rely extensively on political parties, interest groups, and bureaucrats to operate a constitution designed to prevent the rise of parties, interest-group politics and an entrenched bureaucracy. The essays on law explore how contemporary citizens appear to expect and accept the exertions of power by a Supreme Court, whose members are increasingly disconnected from the world of practical politics. Essays on rights discuss how contemporary citizens living in a diverse multi-racial society seek guidance on the meaning of liberty and equality, from a Constitution designed for a society in which all politically relevant persons shared the same race, gender, religion and ethnicity. Lastly, the essays on themes explain how in a "globalized" world, people living in the United States can continue to be governed by a constitution originally meant for a society geographically separated from the rest of the "civilized world." Whether a return to the pristine constitutional institutions of the founding or a translation of these constitutional norms in the present is possible remains the central challenge of U.S. constitutionalism today.

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