The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The holiday season is now upon us! If you are looking for possible gifts for the loyal Volokh Conspiracy readers in your life, what could better than books by VC bloggers?
Among my favorite books by VC authors are Randy Barnett's Restoring the Lost Constitution, David Bernstein's Rehabilitating Lochner, Dale Carpenter, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, Jonathan Adler's Business and the Roberts Court, Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing.
Randy's book is one of the best recent works on originalism and constitutional legitimacy. It is relevant to ongoing debates over legal interpretation that are sure to heat up again as the Supreme Court considers several major cases in the near future. Rehabilitating Lochner explodes numerous myths about one of the Court's most reviled decisions, one that remains relevant to current debates over "judicial activism." Flagrant Conduct is a great account of a milestone in the history of gay rights. It provides useful historical context for the still-ongoing battles over same-sex marriage and related issues. Jonathan Adler's edited volume is an excellent guide to the issue of whether the Supreme Court favors business interests, and how we might assess claims that it has a pro-business bias. Finally, Academic Legal Writing is filled with useful advice, while also somehow managing to make this generally unexciting topic interesting.
The Cambridge Handbook of Classical Liberal Thought (edited by Todd Henderson), includes chapters by three different VC bloggers: Jonathan Adler on environmental policy, David Bernstein on anti-discrimination law, and my own contribution on "voting with your feet."
I also look forward to Jonathan Adler's forthcoming - and extremely timely - book on Marijuana Federalism. Everything you ever wanted to know about the relationship between federalism and pot.
This list is not intended to slight important books by Ken Anderson, Sam Bray, Orin Kerr, David Kopel, David Post, and other VC bloggers. I have not discussed them only because their subjects are relatively distant from my own areas of expertise.
In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I will also mention the much-expanded second edition of my own book Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter. Sadly, the problem analyzed in the book played an important role in the 2016 and 2018 elections, and is likely to be a major factor in the current 2020 election cycle.
My most recent book is Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective, co-edited with Iljoong Kim and Hojun Lee. It analyzes the use and abuse of eminent domain in a variety of countries around the world.
My other books include The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain, which is the first book by a legal scholar about one of the Supreme Court's most controversial modern decisions, and A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (coauthored with VC-ers Randy Barnett, Jonathan Adler, David Bernstein, Orin Kerr, and David Kopel). Conspiracy Against Obamacare focuses on the VC's significant role in the Obamacare litigation, and is the only book that includes contributions by six different VC bloggers. In 2016, the University of Chicago Press published an updated paperback edition of the The Grasping Hand, which incorporates new material on recent developments such as the growing legal and political struggle over pipeline takings.
In May 2020, Oxford University Press will publish my forthcoming book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration and Political Freedom, which makes the case for expanding opportunities for people to "vote with their feet" in federal systems, in the private sector, and through international migration. You can't get it in time for this year's holiday season, but it could make a great graduation gift in May or June of next year.