Check out this 17:23 podcast in which I’m interviewed by Patrick Hanes of Maryland’s WFRE. He wanted to know about think tanks, in particular, and our conversation led on to how those nonprofit groups affect the policy conversation, how Cato and other think tanks are adapting to changes in media formats and public consumption of information, my own background, and why I recommend the study of economics to every student.
- Steven Wise and his Nonhuman Rights Project are back with another animal rights suit, this time claiming to represent elephants against small Connecticut zoo [Ted Folkman, Wesley Smith]
- Thomas Hemphill reviews Philip Hamburger mini-volume The Administrative Threat, which summarizes arguments from Hamburger’s magnum opus Is Administrative Law Unlawful? [Cato Regulation mag]
- Dialing for dollars: plaintiff who’s filed 80 lawsuits can proceed under Telephone Consumer Protection Act even if he purposely placed himself in harm’s way [John O’Brien, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine/Forbes] Plus: Nov. 27 update;
- Occupational licensure, college free speech, Roy Moore’s Anne Arundel council chum, and more in my latest Maryland policy roundup [Free State Notes]
- New Cato Institute podcast series Cato Out Loud consists of print publications in audio format, give it a try;
- Remember the panic over tax inversions? “Anti-Inversion Regulation Invalidated in Federal Court” [Elizabeth Chorvat, Tax Notes]
- Coming Oct. 18: Cato all-day conference on Criminal Justice at the Crossroads, speakers include Hon. Jed Rakoff, Clark Neily, Jeffrey Miron, Suja Thomas, Scott Greenfield, register here or watch online;
- A bail bond agent’s letter to the editor responding to my Wall Street Journal piece on Maryland bail reform;
- Domestic violence: Ontario Court of Appeal rules cultural differences cannot justify lighter sentence in criminal cases [Toronto Star, 2015]
- “Police Union Complains That Public Got to See Them Roughing Up Utah Nurse” [Scott Shackford] “Bad Cops Will Keep Getting Rehired As Long As You Have Powerful Police Unions” [Ed Krayewski]
- “Federal Judge In Colorado Rules Sex Offender Registry Is Unconstitutional” [Lenore Skenazy, Jacob Sullum, CBS Denver, Scott Greenfield] If a young man is mentally disabled and exposes himself, should he be barred for good from a busboy job or participation in Special Olympics? [Skenazy] More: David Feige, New York Times via Greenfield on the Supreme Court’s acceptance of a fateful factoid;
- Trump to lift curbs on disposal of military surplus gear to police [Adam Bates, Jonathan Blanks, earlier]
Watch: videos now online from last month’s Cato conference, The Future of the First Amendment. I talk religious freedom on a panel with Robin Fretwell Wilson of the University of Illinois Law School and John M. Barry, author of Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul:
Eugene Volokh gives a keynote speech on the “revolution in remedies” that is changing libel and privacy law, which “ties in with technological change” in the nature of media, over a period in which there has been virtually no change in the substantive doctrine of libel:
Other panels include a discussion of the remarkable findings of a new Cato poll on free speech and presentations on a diverse array of other topics including European regulation of online media, commercial speech, and campaign finance.
I’m on the second panel, “Religious Liberty In the Post-Obama Era,” with Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson and author John M. Barry, beginning 10:45 a.m. Eastern. Other highlights: luncheon address by Eugene Volokh and panels including Martin Redish, Conor Friedersdorf, Flemming Rose, and Matthew Feeney. Program and stream here (direct link to livestream).
September 17 marks Constitution Day. One of the wonderful things about being at Cato is that my work encourages me to write about constitutional law regularly, which means constantly learning new things about the founding document by studying it and commentaries on it.
Over the past year I’ve written about the Emoluments Clause; the No Religious Tests clause; limits on presidential power as defined in the steel seizure case; the meaning of the oath of office; how the Appropriations Clause constrains lawsuit settlements involving the federal government; how and whether gerrymandering by race and for partisan advantage affects constitutional rights; judicial independence; the decline and fall of the Contracts Clause; the application of Obergefell to issues of public employees and birth certificates; Article V procedure for calling a new constitutional convention; and too many First, Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment controversies to list.
The U.S. Constitution is very much alive, not in the Living Constitution caricature of a document emptied of most durable or objective meaning, but in the sense that most persons in charge of all three major branches of the federal government and state and local government, whichever their party, continue to try to act by its guidance according to their lights, however unnerving and lamentable the occasional exceptions may be.
Today (Monday) you can tune in online to Cato’s annual Constitution Day symposium. I’ll be moderating the afternoon panel on property rights and religious liberty (the Murr and Trinity Lutheran cases, and no, it’s not clear that we need to find any actual connection between them).
- A strong 9-4 showing: “Even in a ‘Slow’ Year, Cato Continues Its Winning Ways at the Supreme Court” [Ilya Shapiro]
- Court follows up Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections with another race-and-redistricting case, Cooper v. Harris [SCOTUSBlog symposium]
- “What Do We Mean By a “Pro-Business” Court — And Should We Care?” [James Copland, Case Western Law Review]
- Kennedy’s opinion for Court cites Cato amicus brief in Packingham v. North Carolina, ruling unconstitutionally overbroad law preventing nearly all social media access by released sex offenders [earlier]. Speech limits aren’t the only unconstitutional restrictions such offenders face. High court should take Karsjens case next [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald]
- CALPERS v. ANZ Securities Inc.: pendency of class action does not suspend three-year time limit for filing individual securities actions [Kevin LaCroix/D & O Diary, Federalist Society podcast with Mark Chenoweth]
- Why I’m not joining the fury over Justice Gorsuch’s dissent in Pavan v. Smith, the case over Arkansas’s handling of birth certificates post-Obergefell [my Twitter sequence, more from Erica Goldberg]
- Clark Neily, who spent 17 years at the Institute for Justice and is the author of the constitutional law book Terms of Engagement, joins Cato as vice president for criminal justice [Cato press release]
- California is among 29 states that revoke drivers’ licenses for failure to pay tickets, which can knock poorer persons out of the workforce over minor offenses [Maura Ewing, The Atlantic]
- It’s quite rare for prosecutors to file felony charges against public defenders — unless you’re in New Orleans [The Guardian] “Jefferson Parish prosecutors used fake subpoenas similar to those in New Orleans” [Charles Maldonado, The Lens]
- To explain America’s love affair with incarceration, look first to ideology not race [Thaddeus Russell, Reason]
- North Carolina law bans persons on sex offender registry from using social media. Constitutional? [Federalist Society podcast with Ilya Shapiro, Cato on Supreme Court case of Packingham v. North Carolina, more on sex offender registries]
- Judge orders D.A. to return life savings seized from legal medical cannabis business owners; no charges had been brought [Institute for Justice press release] D.A. then files charges against him and his attorney [NBC San Diego]
Mark your calendar now: Mon. Sept. 18 is the Cato Institute’s all-day annual Constitution Day program. I’ll be moderating a panel on “Property, Religious and Secular” with Roger Pilon and Rick Garnett, and other well-known Cato names appear through the day. The annual B. Kenneth Simon Lecture will be delivered by Columbia lawprof Philip Hamburger. Details here.
- SEC’s use of in-house judges violates constitutional principle of independent judiciary [Thaya Brook Knight, Ilya Shapiro, Devin Watkins, and Ari Blask]
- Have you checked out the annual Cato Supreme Court Review on the 2015-16 term, available both in-print and free online? Among the contents: Roger Pilon on Scalia’s originalism; Andrew Trask on the class action case of Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo (and more); Steven Calabresi on originalism and liberty; Steven Eagle on wetlands law; Harvey Silverglate and Emma Quinn-Judge on McDonnell and honest-services-fraud prosecutions of state and local officials; and Glenn Reynolds looking ahead to this (2016-17) term;
- Federal agency can’t unilaterally rewrite unambiguous statutory provision [Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison on Cato certiorari amicus in FLSA tip-pooling case of National Restaurant Association v. Department of Labor]
- “You Shouldn’t Be Criminally Liable If You Don’t Have a Guilty Mind” [Ilya Shapiro on Cato certiorari brief in mens rea case of Farha v. U.S.; related on mens rea, Orrin Hatch, Time]
- Court must resolve constitutionality of CFPB structure, especially now that DoJ itself agrees it’s unconstitutional [Thaya Brook Knight and Ilya Shapiro, more]
- In ineffective-assistance-of-counsel case that might hinge on whether drug defendant was bound to be convicted anyway, Court should not sidestep the historically significant phenomenon of jury nullification [Cato podcast with Tim Lynch on Lee v. U.S.; more on case from Amy Howe at SCOTUSBlog on oral argument and from Lynch at The Hill]