blank

The Influence of Legal Pragmatism on the 4th Amendment Privacy Doctrine

From Amy Peikoff:

My paper, “Pragmatism and Privacy,” is now available online at the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty’s website. In the paper, I demonstrate the influence of legal pragmatism on the development of Fourth Amendment privacy doctrine and, towards the end of the paper, I have the opportunity to apply some of Tara Smith’s criticisms of Justice Scalia’s Originalist methodology. (You may also be interested to read an article appearing in the same issue: Prof. Randy Barnett’s article on why the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.)

Continue Reading · 0

Lindsay Lohan, Hollywood Voice of Reason

Writes Mark Topson at his blog:

[Lohan on Twitter:] I pray Egypt maintains it’s [sic] treaty with Israel and sets the trend for its neighbors to create peace with Israel and the entire region.

What a pleasant surprise, to hear someone in the entertainment world not only talk about something other than 1) themselves, 2) their uninformed socialist fantasies, and/or 3) their hatred/sexual fantasies of Sarah Palin, but actually express support for Israel’s security for once, instead of bashing the country as a “genocidal apartheid state,” banning its films from film festivals, and boycotting musical performances there. Good for you, Ms. Lohan.

Read the rest.

For why you should support Israel see Yaron Brook’s Israel Has A Moral Right To Its Life.

Continue Reading · 0

Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt

Richard Salsman takes on the concept of Democracy as an end to itself over at Forbes:

History makes very clear to nearly everyone (except history’s democrats) that democracy–the mere voting power and rule by some majority–is no necessary guarantor of genuine liberties or individual rights; indeed, more often than not, democracies have trampled rights.

[...]

For faith-based democrats like Presidents Bush and Obama, democracy means voting — and voting is considered an end in itself, not a means to some other, truly legitimate end like securing and protecting individual rights. ["Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt"] 

Read the rest.

Continue Reading · 0

Commentary by Richard Salsman @ Forbes

Some great commentary at Richard Salsman at Forbes:

“Another Illiberal Democracy – in Egypt,” February 10, 2011
Democracy is no guarantor of genuine liberties or rights; indeed, far more often it brutally tramples them.

“The Actual State of the Union,” February 1, 2011
Presidents no longer bother to give objective assessments of America’s current and future state.

“Krugman, ‘Toxic Rhetoric’ and the Smear-Mongers,” January 20, 2011
Political programs – but not political “rhetoric” – can inflict violence; let’s start recognize the difference between the two.

“New Congress, Same Old Leviathan,” January 11, 2011
Neither GOP control of Congress nor the arrival of 50 or so Tea-publicans will reduce federal spending in 2011-2012.

“A Golden Decade of Government Failure,” January 4, 2011
The best investment asset of the past decade was gold – because government policies were a complete failure.

“A Well-Earned Capitalist Christmas,” December 23, 2010
The real meaning of Christmas — and all that we enjoy about it – is thoroughly pagan and capitalistic.

“The Virtue of Lower Tax Rates On The Rich,” December 15, 2010
The rich have a right to their earnings and deserve huge tax-rate cuts; they have no duty to create jobs or reduce deficits.

“Where Have All The Capitalists Gone?” December 5, 2010
Almost everyone acknowledges that capitalism delivers the goods – but most people still claim it’s immoral.

Continue Reading · 0

What Egyptians Really Want: Islamofascism

Here are some “highlights” from a 2010 Pew poll of Egyptian attitudes as listed by a recent IBD Editorial:

  • 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a “small role” in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a “large role in politics.”
  • 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.
  • 82% support stoning adulterers.
  • 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.
  • 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.
  • 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.
  • Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.
  • 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.
  • 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
  • 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. — the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.
Continue Reading · 0

Ayn Rand’s Anthem: Now Available as a Graphic Novel

From the publisher:

The controversial classic work of one individual’s will versus the subjugation of society-now available as a compelling graphic novel.

In all that was left of humanity there was only one man who dared to think, seek, and love. He, Equality 7-2521, would place his life in jeopardy. For his knowledge was regarded as a treacherous blasphemy. He had rediscovered the lost and holy word…”I”.

Order Ayn Rand’s Anthem: The Graphic Novel

Continue Reading · 0

Impressive: Holleran on the Atlas Shrugged Movie Trailer

Writes Scott Holleran on his blog on the forthcoming Atlas Shrugged movie:

Having seen a sneak preview of the trailer, scheduled to open in select theaters on April 15, I must say that this low-budget effort looks better than I had expected.

Exciting enough for the uninitiated, substantial enough for Objectivists and Ayn Rand fans, the trailer opens with a man named Midas Mulligan, met by a shadowy figure who has something important to say.

From there, we see skylines, speeding trains, and men of steel (including Ellis Wyatt, Hank Rearden, and, of course, Dagny Taggart), and the action and drama never let up.

The trailer looks crisp, clean and polished and wraps with the question: Who is John Galt? A tag-on teases “…Ask the Question.” This is the world’s first movie about Ayn Rand’s epic theme, the mind on strike, and, though it is impossible to gauge a movie’s merits on the basis of a trailer, for what it’s worth, I’m impressed.

Continue Reading · 0

As Good As One Could Expect: Notes on Judge Vinson’s Opinion of Obamacare

Amy Peikoff writes in her blog, Don’t Let It Go, on Judge Vinson’s 78 page opinion in which he held that Obamacare was unconstitutional:

[...] When I first read the opinion, I was not pleased. I was not pleased that Vinson began by using an Originalist approach; I was not pleased that he seemed to concede the propriety of treating the Constitution as, in effect, a “living” document; I was not pleased that he implied that the Supreme Court could — in fact that he seemed to invite them to — eliminate the activity/inactivity distinction. I feared that the Supreme Court might just decide that, in our modern commercial age, yada, yada, yada, an economic decision can constitute “activity” for purposes of the Commerce Clause, and that Vinson hadn’t done enough to prevent this. I found his basic argument — that, given the current state of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, if this law were to be upheld, no real distinction could be made between the “individual mandate” and anything else Congress wanted to make people do, and therefore, if this law were to be upheld, our government would no longer be a limited one whose powers are enumerated — terribly unsatisfying. But today, after sleeping on it (even if only for a few hours), and having a brief interchange with an actual Constitutional Lawyer, I realize that my expectations are unrealistic. This is about as good as one could expect.

First, even if Vinson were an Objectivist, his job would be to apply the law, as it exists, to the facts of the case before him. Thus, even if he rejected the Originalist approach, he would still be stuck with the language of the Commerce Clause itself, plus all of the horrible precedent expanding Congress’s powers under that clause. Especially given that Vinson is a district court judge, it seems the best he can do is to explain why, in the context of this binding precedent, Obamacare goes too far, and is therefore unconstitutional. So, given that I’ve concluded this was Vinson’s assignment, is there something significant he could have done that would have been more satisfying to me? I did find his expressing “reluctance” in striking down the legislation to be annoying. I mean, at least he needn’t be reluctant! He is, after all, assuming he is right, saving us from a government whose powers are no longer enumerated and limited, right? He should be glad about this! I also was annoyed that he seemed to be inviting the Supreme Court, twice during the course of his opinion, to reformulate its Commerce Clause jurisprudence in a way that allows them to uphold this legislation. However, what I realized today is the only significant thing I found missing was some sort of argument as to why it must be an activity that Congress regulates under the Clause. I wanted some sort of positive justification for the activity/inactivity distinction. It was no good to just hang one’s hat on the idea that, if you get rid of this distinction, Congress could do whatever it wants. I needed more!

What sort of argument could one provide?

Find out in her enlightening post, Notes on Judge Vinson’s Opinion.

Continue Reading · 0