Campaigns/Elections

"The Institute for Justice combines the right's focus on economic liberty with the left's willingness to effect change through the courts"

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In an interview focusing on civil liberties and the 2012 election, Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic talks to Institute for Justice senior attorney Jeff Rowes. Here's a snippet:

Are there any policy stances you'd particularly like to see from candidates vying for the presidency?

We'd like to see candidates recognize that "activist" legislatures on the right and left are the biggest threat to economic liberty. We'd also like to see politicians on the right and left stop their steady campaign to delegitimize the courts by accusing judges of "activism" on those extremely rare occasions (this happens a handful of times each year) in which a law is invalidated as unconstitutional. 

There are three branches of government, not two, and the purpose of government is to protect liberty, not provide the elected branches with unlimited opportunities to manipulate the lives and property of citizens. Economists working in public choice theory have understood for two generations that the elected branches will almost inevitably be turned into instruments for the advancement of industry, not public, interests. IJ is a staunch defender of the free market and a sharp critic of the fact that most people in the free market spend an enormous amount of time and money petitioning government to make the market unfree in a way that advantages them and hobbles the competition.

If asked during a presidential debate to pose one question on behalf of IJ what would it be?

I'd ask this: "Would you support legislation and a rule of constitutional interpretation that presumes economic regulations to be invalid such that if they are challenged in court, the burden is on the government to establish a legitimate reason for its intrusion into the lives of citizens?"

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. You’ve got to boil shit like this down:

    “I’d ask this: “Would you support legislation and a rule of constitutional interpretation that presumes economic regulations to be invalid such that if they are challenged in court, the burden is on the government to establish a legitimate reason for its intrusion into the lives of citizens?”

    Or you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

    1. But then they wouldn’t be lawyers.

  2. Did the Atlantic get a new Chief Editor?

    I recall them being pretty left wing in the past.

  3. Three branches of government.

    Legislative: writes legislation for the purpose of destroying individual liberty.

    Executive: writes regulation with the power of legislation for the purpose of destroying individual liberty.

    Judicial: defends legislation and regulation from those who oppose the destruction of individual liberty.

    Did I miss anything?

  4. pls define “economic regulations”

      1. nope not the googles, but mr rowe’s def since he wrote the question.

        1. I’m sure that a senior attorney not only has idle time for appeasing your question, but also has a completely different definition than anything you could glean off of a web search or simple common sense.

          Yep! Hold your breath! His answer will be forthwith!

          1. ub r 4 six contolling bee haha lol

            1. go away old mex

          2. sar – im sure that a senior attorney should expect that question & clarify. one person’s “econ reg” may be more or less inclusive than others’.

            1. It’s a pretty simple concept.
              Let’s break it down.
              We’ll start with the first word: economic.
              Without a dictionary I assume that means “of or relation to the economy”.
              Then the second word: regulations.
              I assume that means something like “rules handed down by a central authority”.

              If we put those two together we get “rules, relating to the economy, handed down by a central authority”

              It’s not that difficult. All you have to do is use your brain.

    1. pls define “economic regulations”

      Government control of voluntary interactions relating to the exchange of goods and services.

      Not to be confused with proper, mala in se criminal law, which deals with interactions lacking that element of voluntariness.

  5. Sure hope that on average, journalists are smarter and more up to speed than one Mr. Jay Carney. One man, a joun-o-list, that is able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory not only for the president, but for the country. Who’s been living in a cave, Carney or Bin Laden?

  6. “a rule of constitutional interpretation”

    WTF is that?

  7. Wait, wait, wait.

    The “right” focuses on economic liberty? Since when?

    1. The GOP is not “the right”.

  8. If asked during a presidential debate to pose one question on behalf of IJ what would it be?

    Do you believe there are any limits on the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause and, if so, could you give examples of laws that exceed those powers?

    1. Well put.

    2. …to both questions is, “no”.

  9. joe from Lowell says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 9:38 am
    Matt,

    Don’t get suckered by the IJ. They seize on cute, fuzzy poster boys in order to push radical changes to the law in the service of corporate deregulation.

    “Simply put, the government is not allowed to require people to get a license in order to talk.”

    Simply put, this outfit is committed to eliminating the distinction between commercial speech and individual speech.

    1. Simply put, this outfit is committed to eliminating the distinction between commercial speech and individual speech.

      Didn’t the Supreme Court already do that?

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