Posts tagged ‘Antonin Scalia’

What a Concept

Marginal Revolution notes a recent piece by Jeffrey Rosen about potential libertarian supreme court nominees.  In particular, they noted this quote:

...Epstein was promoting a legal philosophy far more radical in its
implications than anything entertained by Antonin Scalia, then, as now, the
court's most irascible conservative. As Epstein sees it, all individuals have
certain inherent rights and liberties, including ''economic'' liberties, like
the right to property and, more crucially, the right to part with it only
voluntarily. These rights are violated any time an individual is deprived of his
property without compensation -- when it is stolen, for example, but also when
it is subjected to governmental regulation that reduces its value or when a
government fails to provide greater security in exchange for the property it

Whoa, how crazy is that?  I find it depressing that believing in the right to part with property "only voluntarily" is today considered so wildly out of the mainstream that it is necessarily a disqualification to be a Supreme Court judge.  The courts today are terribly important battle ground in protecting individual rights against both creeping socialism and paternalism.  Unfortunately, neither Republicans nor Democrats can be trusted with leading this battle.  Each wants the judiciary to protect individual rights in one area and restrict them in another.  The left supports limitations on political speech via campaign finance restrictions and an unfettered right of government to invade personal property.  The right wants limitations on non-political speech via "community standards" on entertainment and hopes to regulate America's sexual practices.

Most people interested in politics are constantly hoping their party is the winner in the race to power.  I just wish I had a horse in the race.