Michael S. Greve Website

Michael S. Greve is a professor at George Mason University School of Law. From 2000 to August, 2012, Professor Greve was the John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he remains a visiting scholar. His most recent book is The Upside-Down Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2012).

Dodd-Frank’s Frankenstein Creeps Forward


Leave It to the States

Six or so out-of-town summer trips down, only four more to go before the start of the Fall semester—at which point I’ll be able to resume regular blogging, and maybe even some actual research and writing. Pending that merciful eventuality, here’s my Wall Street Journal review of Adam Freedman’s recent federalism manifesto, A Less Perfect Union: The Case For States’ Rights. I’ve met Adam occasionally at Manhattan Institute events. He’s a thoroughly good guy; creative thinker; great writer. Obviously I don’t agree with every chord in his federalism riff. Foremost: while Adam does a manful job in defense of “states’ rights,”…

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Musings on Our Ersatz Legislature

The United States Supreme Court decides only about 80 cases per term. (Why 80? There are 39 days for oral argument and they really can’t be bothered to sit still for more than two cases a day, or to add argument days.) That’s what any decent county judge handles in a week. Now, granted: normal judges just handle stupid stuff, like who goes to jail for how long or who owes money to someone else. In contrast, the Supreme Court’s business is really heavy, brother—so heavy that the Court has again left a ton of hugely important decisions for the end of…

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Perfect Ten

Ten dollars isolated on white background

At long last the U.S. Department of the Treasury has taken an action for which it actually has legal authority (the 1862 Legal Tender Act): it has decided to replace Alexander Hamilton’s image on the $10 bill with the picture of a woman. After extensive consultations with stakeholders, the Department agreed that the “New 10” woman must be a Cherokee. The nod eventually went to Chief Wilma Mankiller. In a somewhat testy Senate oversight hearing, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew regretfully informed the runner-up, Ms. Elizabeth Warren, that under binding law individuals—male, female, or other—who wish to appear on U.S. currency must…

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All the King’s Men

The Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell is due out shortly. As a special service to faithful and even occasional readers of this blog, I proudly present in the flesh, or at least in moving pictures, the obscure characters who produced the case. The highlight of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinners is a staff-produced movie, starring CEI’s magnificent principals and employees. This year’s movie, originally shown to great acclaim at this year’s June 11 dinner, appears here by special permission (thanks, Annie!). To catch all the inside jokes you have to know and work with these guys and gals—good,…

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Big Love

Just in time for the Supreme Court’s eagerly awaited or in any event impending decision in Obergefell, Professor Ronald C. Den Otter (of a California state university in San Luis Obispo) has mounted an impressive Defense of Plural Marriage.  As the good professor notes in a balkinization guest post, Those who care about gays and lesbians being discriminated against cannot ignore whether those who would marry multiple partners, if they were allowed to do so, are also being treated unfairly. …  What too many advocates of marriage equality fail to see is that the compelling reasons that support same-sex marriage, such…

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The Rule of Law Is Positively Therapeutic

Making bread yeast dough, chef kneading in a bakery kitchen

The English invented the rule of law. To this day they’re better at it than the rest of the world, including many English-speaking peoples who have borrowed this stuff.

Like many financial agencies across the globe, U.K. authorities have ended up with big chunks of money in settlements with misbehaving banks. The so-called Libor settlement alone netted the Chancellor of the Exchequer the equivalent of a billion bucks. What to do? As the Wall Street Journal reports, the British government decided to give the money away, to a group that’s re-enacting the Battle of Agincourt and to other worthy causes:

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Wheeler of Fortune

Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a plan to extend federal subsidies for low-income Americans from landline and mobile phone services to broadband. The Internet is so cool, the FCC wants to a) regulate it under Title II of the ancient  (1934) Telecommunications Act and b) make sure everyone has access to whatever is left of the Net once the agency is through with it. Republicans in Congress are moping that the FCC has horridly mismanaged even the existing subsidy program (called “Lifeline”), so they’re reluctant to support the broadband extension. There’ll be hearings.

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