The Crisis of American Conservatism: A Conversation with George Nash

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08:   (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)The great historian of American conservatism, George Nash, returns to Liberty Law Talk to discuss the current state of conservatism after the improbable victory of Donald Trump.

The Falsifiable Justice Kennedy


The Green Bag’s most recent Micro-Symposium is worth checking out.

My favorite piece is Jonathan Mermin’s “On the Importance of Headings and Subheadings in Judicial Opinions.” It exhibits the mixture of whimsy, substance, and law-nerdiness characteristic of great Green Bag writing.

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Electors, Americans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears

Members of the U.S. Senate escort the Electoral College ballots through Statuary Hall on their way to the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol, January 8, 2009. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Monday, December 19, electors across America will be called upon to do their solemn duty of casting votes to choose the next President and Vice-President of the United States, gathering in the capitals of all fifty states and in the District of Columbia.  Together these electors, 538 in all, constitute the Electoral College, and it is their votes—to be officially tallied by Congress in January—that determine who will be inaugurated to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency on January 20.  The electors themselves were chosen by popular election in the states on November 8, running as pledged to vote for one or another slate of candidates.  If all the electors vote as pledged, and assuming that recounts do not disturb the current tallies, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence will defeat Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Kaine by a vote of 306 to 232.

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Introducing Kevin Walsh as December Guest Blogger

I am happy to introduce to you Kevin C. Walsh as our guest blogger this month. I am delighted that he will be lending his considerable insights to us for the month of December. Mr. Walsh professes law in Richmond, Virginia at the University of Richmond School of Law. His scholarship focuses on doctrines that define the scope of the judicial power. His latest law review article is Enduring Originalism, co-authored with Jeffrey Pojanowski. Walsh blogs at Mirror of Justice and Law-RVA, and can be found on Twitter @kevincwalsh.​

What Can Happen in a Month

I took a break from blogging a month ago, and the world has changed tremendously.  Wow. When I left, nearly everyone thought Hillary Clinton would be the President.  The odds were also favorable that there would be a Democratic Senate. Now, of course, Donald Trump will be the President, and the Republicans control not only the House but also the Senate.  This is obviously an enormous change.  At first, it was really disorienting.  And for many opponents of Trump, the effect continues. But there has also been another change.  We have started to get more information about Donald Trump and how he is…

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Cuba’s Gordian Knot

Cuban migrants trying to reach the U.S. coast in Florida ride a makeshift boat made out of a 1951 Chevrolet truck.  The U.S. Coast Guard returned the Cuban migrants  to Cuba after making it within 40 miles of Key West, Florida.  (Photo by Gregory Ewald/ U.S. Coast Guard/ Getty Images)

General Raúl Castro, in his one-minute announcement on Cuban television disclosing the death of his brother, referred to Fidel Castro as the “Founder of the Cuban Revolution” and ended his brief declaration with the standard exhortation: “Until Victory Always!”

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Trump’s First Achievement: Making Obama Not Great

One way of understanding American history is as a struggle between consequential Presidents who expand liberty and consequential Presidents who expand the state. On this view, most Presidents are frankly not all that important: their decisions are marginal and many are reversed or substantially modified.

If  so, Donald Trump’s victory had an important benefit for liberty, even if he himself is no classical liberal, because it prevented Barack Obama from being a consequential President on the statist side of the ledger.

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US State Constitutions and the American Contribution to the Theory of Bicameralism

Virginia State Capitol complex - old House of Delegates chamber

With the US House of Representatives representing the people, and the US Senate representing the states (more so prior to the adoption of the 17th Amendment, but that’s another discussion), the US Congress is a recognizable extension of the “mixed-government” rationale for legislative bicameralism.

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What Will Donald Trump’s Presidency Mean for the Dollar?

bill ten American dollars closeup

The world would be a much better place if economists, politicians and pundits had this line from Henry Hazlitt memorized: “What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful of disastrous to the collection of individuals that make up a nation.”

It’s arguably the most important line ever written in any economics book. Hazlitt (1894-1993) was making the essential point that an economy is not a living, breathing blob; rather it’s a collection of individuals.

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Coming Out of the Bubble

bubble dreams

Those who live in a bubble had best admit it, and apparently I do.

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