Cato Constitution Day — Thurs. Sept. 16

On Thursday the Cato Institute will be holding its annual day-long Constitution Day symposium, which is also a celebration of the publication of the ninth volume of the annual Cato Supreme Court Review. I’ll be moderating (stepping in for Roger Pilon) on the second afternoon panel, which will cover three business-related cases recently decided by the Court: Jones v. Harris on mutual fund fees, Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB on one of the terms of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, and American Needle v. NFL on the scope of antitrust exemption. All three principal panelists are well-known bloggers: Larry Ribstein of Illinois (Jones) and Josh Wright of George Mason (American Needle) at Truth on the Market, and Hans Bader of CEI (Free Enterprise Fund) at Open Market (he’s also guestblogged on the PCAOB case right here). The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. More: Larry Ribstein, Josh Wright.


  • How can we have a relatively free market system in commerce and social transaction when the legal system overseeing commerce and social interaction is constructively a cartel? By definition the free market system and individual freedoms will become a holding or hostage to the attorneys who freelance represent the legal monopoly.

  • Free market? You must be kidding! The business community uses the government to gain advantages all the time. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no such thing as a free market!

  • […] my contribution on last term’s Jones v. Harris: Federal Misgovernance of Mutual Funds. See Walter Olson’s summary of the panel on the business cases. Here’s the abstract of my […]

  • Sarbanes-Oxley left the agency it created, the PCAOB, uniquely unaccountable to oversight.

    The legal defenses of the PCAOB were internally inconsistent, as I explain here.

    The defense of the PCAOB was also based on false claims about how accountable the PCAOB really was to the SEC prior to the Supreme Court’s decision giving the SEC the ability to fire PCAOB members at will, as I explain here.
    See also Roberta Romano, Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Have a Future?, 26 Yale J. on Reg. 229, 243 & n.53 (2009).

    I discuss the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Sarbanes-Oxley case, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010), and its implications for the future, in my recent 2010 Cato Supreme Court Review article. See Hans Bader, Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB: Narrow Separation-of-Powers Ruling Illustrates That the Supreme Court Is Not ‘‘Pro-Business’’, 2009-2010 Cato Supreme Court Review 269, 287-288 (2010).