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Free to Move

My Appearance on Prof. Eric Segall's "Supreme Myths" Podcast

We discussed my book "Free to Move," the state of originalism, and other issues.

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I recently appeared on Prof. Eric Segall's "Supreme Myths" podcast. We talked about several subjects, including my book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom, whether George Mason University (where I teach) was justified in renaming its law school after the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and the state of originalism.

The Scalia renaming issue strikes me as far less significant than the others we talked about. But it has broader implications for both assessments of Scalia and the issue of which historical figures are worthy of being honored in this way, and why.

It was an honor to appear on a podcast whose previous guests include numerous prominent legal scholars and commentators, including Volokh Conspiracy co-bloggers Randy Barnett, Orin KerrEugene Volokh, and Keith Whittington, among others. As is evident from the podcast, Eric Segall and I have many differences, including on the topics of originalism and the Scalia renaming. But I commend him for his openness to civil debate and discussion, with advocates of a wide range of views, including those he strong disagrees with.

I should note my memory failed me at one point in the podcast, when I said the European Union has a population of 600 million. The correct figure is actually about 447 million. I apologize for that mistake.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: April 2, 1980

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  1. Prof. Seagall asks about the costs of travel. They favor well off and elite people. The people who need to vote with their feet the most are having trouble with the next meal, he said.

    That implies the people most needed to improve a place will be most likely to leave.

    1. Does Seagall ever ask if 100000 law profs from India, who would love a salary of $25000, should be fast tracked for admittance and for citizenship?

      Somin says world GDP would double with foot voting. Does he say it would triple if the toxic lawyer profession were rounded up and crushed?

      1. Unfortunately, unlike old automobile bodies, lawyers are not easy to recycle when crushed.

        1. Too much alcohol makes the used organs unsuitable for re-use.

      2. If the constitution is obsolete, or does not answer modern questions, amend it. Stop making shit up masking as stentorious law giving when all these decisions are feelings, moods, and whims of the hour by know nothing book worms with no social or emotional intelligence. We have an idiot savantocracy today.

        1. Half the time, the Congress is too stopped-up to even produce statutes, which require only a simple majority to pass. Trying to pass a Constitutional amendment with the supermajority requirement seems a pipe-dream.

          1. Is there a consensus to violate the law with judicial review and with executive regs? If those are good ideas, amend to allow them. Until then those engaging in them should be arrested for insurrection.

            1. Or, we could just continue to choose to laugh at your poor understanding of law.

        2. What if, hypothetically, a constitution is badly flawed, but one of the flaws is that it is close to impossible to amend? Think of it as a "black hole constitution."

          What is the appropriate recourse?

          1. Good thing that's not the case with the US, as its Constitution has been amended dozens of times.

            1. Well, ten of those "dozens" were essentially part of the original document, and three more took a civil war. So "dozens" really means, at most, 1.16 dozens.

          2. "

            What if, hypothetically, a constitution is badly flawed, but one of the flaws is that it is close to impossible to amend? Think of it as a "black hole constitution."

            What is the appropriate recourse?
            "

            Emigrate

          3. Did it occur that the majority of the population does not agree that the Constitution is badly flawed?

    2. "That implies the people most needed to improve a place will be most likely to leave."

      This effect is known as "brain drain" and the United States has benefitted from it greatly for most of its history. We get people who aren't satisfied with the conditions of their original home countries who come here to live and work instead. We've been importing skilled professionals for generations, swiping the best engineers from around the world. Nowadays, some of those engineers are staying home, and building businesses there instead.

      1. You aupport this form of plunder colonialism? It may be a bigger heist for the colonials than stealing from their gold mines or oil reserves.

        1. Are you asking me or telling me what I support?

  2. Prof. Segall is one of the most literate, intelligent and open law professors currently in the field. I urge everyone to read his occasional posts on Dorf on Law. You may not agree with his positions but you will find him open, persuasive and engaging.

    1. His podcast Supreme Myths is excellent. I have heard them all so far, and am looking forward to hearing Prof. Somin on it.

  3. I think they would make great high school history teachers. They are experts in Scholasticism. Many would earn more as teachers.

  4. I loved the episode (and yah the Scalia stuff seemed like the least significant part). I'd highly recommend Segall's podcast. It's my favorite law podcast as it strikes the perfect balance between being opinionated and not falling into the trap of merely being neutral reporting (fine for reporting...less so podcast) while still being open to other views and engaging with them.

  5. "The Scalia renaming issue strikes me as far less significant than the others we talked about. But it has broader implications for both assessments of Scalia and the issue of which historical figures are worthy of being honored in this way, and why."

    That question is fairly easy: Does the person who put out all the money to pay for the operation of the school want it named after a historical figure? If yes, then put whatever name on it they want, and if no, then don't.
    The only follow-on question is "if we name it after that particular historical figure, can we still get people to sign up for classes at the school?

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