So what are the prospects in the Islamic world for constitutional political orders featuring the rule of law, limited government, and political representation? To answer this question Sohail Hashmi, Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College, has written an incisive essay exploring the political, legal, and religious history of Islam in order to shed light on the compatibility between Islam and political constitutionalism. Hashmi's essay is a powerful argument for ethical objectivism and the possibilities for ressourcement within the Islamic tradition that could lead to a flowering of liberty with law. Robert Reilly, author of the powerful book, The Closing…
Archives for February 2013
I was surprised and pleased to read this morning that red light cameras will be leaving my home town of San Diego. My sense, based on reading some articles, is that the cameras did not improve safety and may have made matters worse. My strongest sense of outrage was caused, however, by the fact that the tickets for the cameras were $490 whereas speeding and other tickets could be much cheaper. My son got a red light ticket for $490 simply by not stopping long enough before making a right on red — hardly a severe safety problem.
Part of my surprise from the elimination of the cameras is that it was done by the new mayor, who was seen as a “union hack” and who defeated a libertarian-ish Republican competitor who ran against city hall and big government. Perhaps Mayor Filner was induced to take the action based on competition from the libertarian challenger. But since he just won the election, I am not so sure. Sometimes your political opponents do at least a couple of good things.
Watershed election presidents such as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt do not simply happen on election day. The significance of the election is played out in speeches that illuminate and in policy that transforms. Whether President Obama is a critical election president is yet to be determined, but his references to the Declaration and the Constitution in his second inaugural address make clear his ambition to change our understanding of who we are as a people.
Does it come as a surprise that we have been living under a new Constitution anyway, a “Second Bill of Rights” that has devoured the original document? According to Harvard Law professor and former high-ranking Obama Administration official Cass Sunstein, it’s like discovering we’ve been speaking prose all our lives. In a recent op-ed Sunstein accurately observes that President Obama’s Second Inaugural (not to mention his major actions) faithfully follows Franklin Roosevelt, who first called for a “Second Bill of Rights” in his 1944 State of the Union Address.
Both the London Times and the Washington Post carried at the week-end (Jan. 12 & 13) reports that Lenin’s embalmed corpse might later this year finally be buried, after having lain on public display in a mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square for the past eighty years, since the Soviet leader’s death in 1924.
Both newspapers linked their respective reports to the recent closure of the mausoleum to the public, pending major structural repair, as well as to remarks in defence of the continued display of Lenin’s remains there, made last month by President Vladimir Putin at his first meeting with campaign supporters since his inauguration in October.
Phil Mickelson gives interviews the way he plays golf: brilliantly, and recklessly. He’s in the “target zone” of federal and state tax collectors, he said the other week, and so he might have to move from California to Florida to protect his $50 million-plus annual income. Whap! Whoom! Care to hammer another last-hole drive into the hospitality tent? Miss a putt for 59? Lost in the commotion over Lefty’s remarks (which, unlike his hair-raising from-behind-the-garbage-can shots, he could and did later retract) was a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) in the Federal Register that bears on Mr. Mickelson and his irrational…
The next Liberty Law Talk is a conversation with John Vile about his new book, The Writing and Ratification of the U.S. Constitution. So if you're a stranger to this site, we post frequently on the administrative state. Some have referred to Greve's candid discourses on this topic as the case of a disgruntled admin law professor. I don't think "disgruntled" quite catches Greve on this matter. However, for a change of pace we went historical this week with Joseph Postell's insightful review of Jerry Mashaw's Creating the Administrative Constitution. Mashaw argues that what we think of as the administrative state…
Thank you to my friend Adam Levitin for engaging me on my critique of the CFPB’s recently-issued—but potentially invalid—“Ability to Pay” and “Qualified Mortgage” rules. One thing I particularly enjoy in engaging with Adam is that I can follow the logic of his argument and the data to which he is relying, which makes such dialogues useful because it makes it possible to clarify the relevant issues rather than obscuring them. That’s not always the case and I appreciate Adam’s clarity of exposition.
Allow me to summarize my original post. My goal was to assess the CFPB’s claim that its extraordinary independence from standard oversight and accountability procedures is justified in light of its claim to be an “evidence-based policy-making” body, constrained by the “data” and thus it needn’t be constrained by other typical accountability measures such as a bipartisan agency structure, Presidential removal power, or effective congressional oversight through the appropriations process.