Originalism is a theory of constitutional interpretation, it is not—nor can it be—a constitutional theory in itself.
- In “Limited Government and Individual Autonomy” Michael Ramsey joins the discussion in the current Liberty Forum on the Constitution as a Bill of Rights.
- Scott Yenor reviews in our Books feature this week Mark Brandon’s States of Union: Family and Change in the American Constitutional Order:
Brandon’s description of marriage and family life reflects a notable narrowing of what “constitutional” means. The original constitutional vision reflected a comprehensive system of how to sustain republican self-government in the long term. Government had its tasks, private institutions including the family had their tasks, and the proper functioning of each depended on the other. From the outset, non-hereditary government in a more fluid society required a less patriarchal family. Republican citizenship depended on a certain type of education, which, if the Founders were correct, would best be supplied by private nuclear families. Self-sufficient, independent, self-controlled, competent citizens were most likely to come from nuclear families. As long as this was the ideal of citizenship, governments were limited and families essential. There is a constitutional parallel between the city and the family—a family order sustained the constitutional order.
- Kate Pitrone at Postmodern Conservative offers her thoughts on Greg Weiner’s excellent post here on the War on Poverty’s 50th anniversary. Weiner, an expert on the thought and career of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, picked up on his criticism of the “War” as an unfortunate attempt to change the social structure of the poor rather than simply giving them money to remedy their situation.
- Talking Buckyballs and the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine at the Fed Soc administrative law practice group podcast. Here’s an earlier piece on this sad episode in the WSJ. From the Fed-Soc description:
On July 10, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) determined that Buckyballs and Buckycubes, executive office desk toys made for adults, were defective. The CPSC pressured retailers to stop selling these products, and on July 25, 2012, the CPSC’s staff brought an administrative action against Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC, the company that produced Buckyballs and Buckycubes, initiating a proceeding to order the company to stop selling all of its products and to conduct a total recall of all of its products already sold. On February 11, 2013, the CPSC amended its complaint to add Craig Zucker, the former General Manager of Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC, as a respondent, to hold him personally liable to conduct a CPSC-estimated $57 million recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes. On November 12, 2013, Mr. Zucker fought back, claiming that the CPSC overreached by bringing an administrative remedial action against Maxfield and Oberton, a limited liability company, as well as him personally. Mr. Zucker challenges the CPSC’s personal jurisdiction over him, claiming he is neither a manufacturer nor a distributor of Buckyballs or Buckycubes and that, instead, the CPSC is exercising undelegated adjudicative authority over individual corporate officers.
- Todd Zywicki makes an appearance in an upcoming documentary on the fall of Detroit.
- At the New Statesman, a reflection on the Englishness of George Orwell.
- Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has been offering for the past two years short reflections on the inability of free market and limited government policies to prove convincing to a majority of Americans. This new essay in National Affairs is his most sustained reflection in this regard and is definitely worth considering.