High-Speed “Federalism” Goes Off the Rails

The Washington Post reports that federal-state plans for a high-speed train connecting San Francisco with Los Angles and points in-between may never come off the ground. In the face of public resistance, the state may have to decline some $3.5 billion in federal “stimulus” funds dedicated to an initial segment of the line, connecting the thriving metropolises of Bakersfield and Merced. We may be witnessing an outbreak of fiscal and institutional sanity.

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Schools for Misrule

I just listened to the episode of Law Talk on Schools for Misrule.  Richard Reinsch does a great job of interviewing Walter Olson on his new book.  After the podcast, I will definitely be putting the book on my reading list.  Olson covers the history of law schools and how they came to their present state, where so much of what goes on supports the progressive agenda.  Some of the story I knew, but much I didn't, including the role of the Ford Foundation.  (Alas, the Ford Foundation was very busy in those days, including doing its part to convince…

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Originalism in Utah

Mike Ramsey, over at the Originalism Blog, makes reference to originalism for state constitutions.  One state constitution that appears to receive an originalist interpretation is the Utah Constitution.  Over the summer, I gave a talk on originalism, derived from this article, to the Utah Bar Association, and was pleased to discover that the Utah Supreme Court appears to have adopted an originalist methodology for interpreting its Constitution.  Here is an excerpt from the Supreme Court decision in American Bush v. City of South Salt Lake, 140 P.3d 1235 (2006): The scope of Utah's constitutional protections “may be broader or narrower than”…

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The Upside-Down Constitution

Many of my contributions to this blog will riff my forthcoming tome on the Constitution and its federalism, cleverly entitled The Upside-Down Constitution. The publisher’s (Harvard University Press) release date is February 15. However, you can already pre-order the book on Amazon.com. What exactly is “upside-down” about our Constitution? Keep reading to find out.

Will Wilkinson: Nonlibertarian or Liberal Libertarian

Recently, Will Wilkinson announced on the Bleeding Heart Libertarians Blog that he was no longer willing to call himself a libertarian:  I’m not interested in identifying myself [as] a libertarian. Ideological labels are mutable, but at any given time they publicly connote a certain syndrome of convictions. What “libertarian” tends to mean to most people, including most people who self-identify as libertarian, is flatly at odds with some of what I believe. Here are some not-standardly-libertarian things I believe: Non-coercion fails to capture all, maybe even most, of what it means to be free. Taxation is often necessary and legitimate. The modern…

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Introducing Myself

As an academic, I have worked in various fields, but my dominant passion has been the libertarian pursuit of free markets and freedom under the law. In recent years, I have focused mainly on constitutional originalism. At the University of San Diego, I am the Director of the Center for the Study of Constitutionalism and have a book coming out next year from Harvard, Originalism and the Good Constitution (co-authored with John McGinnis), which presents a new defense of originalism.

Hello from Michael Greve

The point of this enterprise, as I see it, is to revitalize and elevate a constitutional debate that, in my estimation, has gotten bogged down. On the political Left, constitutional theory has to satisfy a vast range of “progressive” policy commitments before it can get a hearing. On the Right, a well-intentioned insistence on interpreting the Constitution one clause at a time has been taken to excess. In the process, it has crowded out a proper and urgent appreciation of the Constitution’s broader purposes—its “genius,” as John Marshall used to say.