In his latest Washington Post column, George Will highlights an important economic liberty case from Washington state, where two brothers are seeking the right to compete with a government-granted ferry monopoly on a popular lake in the Cascade Mountains:
Washington state's creation of the ferry monopoly is what governments have increasingly done since courts misconstrued the Constitution in a way that licenses governments to dispense particular economic favors by restricting general economic liberty. It is now routine for government to have transactions with rent-seekers — private interests who want public power used to confer advantages on them, or disadvantages on competitors.
This case from a remote region of Washington state explains much about a Washington 2,200 miles away. Start with a misbegotten constitutional principle that denigrates economic liberty as less than fundamental, and thus licenses government to ration such liberty.