The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The holiday season is now upon us! And if you are looking for possible gifts for regular Volokh Conspiracy readers in your life, what could better than books by VC bloggers? Some of these books help shed light on the difficult political situation in which the nation finds itself right now.
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, and 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 a Supreme Court nomination looms. 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 gay rights issues. Finally, Academic Legal Writing is filled with useful advice, while also somehow managing to make this generally unexciting topic interesting.
This list is not intended to slight important books by Ken Anderson, Orin Kerr, David Kopel, David Post, and others. 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 the new much-expanded edition of my own recently published book Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter. Sadly, the kind of ignorance discussed in the book played an important role in the 2016 election. Whether or not people agree with the specific solutions advocated in my book, I hope that the experience of the last year will lead more Americans to at least start taking the problem of political ignorance seriously.
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 (now out in an updated paperback edition), 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.