Preserving the Human in Planet of the Apes
Liberty Law | Essays
by Andrew Pierce
3d ago
Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man. – Sophocles “I can’t help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man.” So ponders astronaut George Taylor (played by Charlton Heston) in the 1968 original Planet of the Apes. Decades later, in an interview promoting Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, co-leads Owen Teague (“Noa”) and Freya Allen (“Mae”) declared they were on “Team Ape” against humanity. “Look at what the humans have done to the earth,” Teague said. “I dislike humans a lot,” agreed Allen. “There are times when you see humans come toge ..read more
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Jarkesy Rejuvenates Juries
Liberty Law | Essays
by Patrick M. Garry
5d ago
The United States Supreme Court continues to reaffirm and return to the founding principles ingrained within the Constitution. In recent days, that reaffirmation has occurred within the area of administrative law, where the Court’s decisions have invigorated the doctrine of separation of powers and strengthened the liberty protections of the jury trial. In what may be the most far-reaching decision of this term, the Court in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo struck down the Chevron doctrine, which has required courts to defer to an administrative agency’s interpretations of ambiguous federa ..read more
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Prisoners for Liberty
Liberty Law | Essays
by Paul Schwennesen
6d ago
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times to be a man of fighting age in Ukraine. Despite persistent Russian gains into their homeland, despite the gut-wrenching losses amongst their friends and the daily tragedy of civilian bombardment, morale is remarkably high. Ukrainians I’ve worked with generally feel they are on the right side of a world-historical crisis and believe that victory (broadly construed) will inevitably be theirs. They relish their membership in a scrappy, motivated, innovative brotherhood that is admired and supported at home and (however fitfully) by the wider free ..read more
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Murthy’s Maddening Modesty
Liberty Law | Essays
by David B. McGarry
1w ago
The long-awaited Supreme Court case concerning social media culminated not with a bang but with a whimper. Murthy v. Missouri ruled on the Biden Administration’s efforts to shape social media platforms’ content-moderation policies. But the Court ruled not on the case’s merits but on standing. Writing for a 6–3 majority, Justice Amy Coney Barrett reasoned that the plaintiffs—two states and several individuals—failed to establish the likelihood of future injury required to sue for a forward-looking injunction. Nonetheless, Murthy’s sound and fury signifies a great deal. The case’s protracted sag ..read more
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250 Years of Jeffersonian Constitutionalism
Liberty Law | Essays
by Hans Eicholz
1w ago
Thomas Jefferson’s Summary View of the Rights of British America, composed sometime in the latter half of this month, 250 years ago, ought to be regarded as among the most fundamental primary sources informing our understanding of the spirit and history of the American constitutional tradition, but it is rarely considered in this way. Rather, it has served mainly as a backdrop to its more famous linear offspring, the Declaration of Independence. Scholars have analyzed the Summary View for what it says about natural law, natural rights, or the radical tone of its address. They have looked to it ..read more
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The Declaration’s Timely Teaching on Immigration
Liberty Law | Essays
by Paul Seaton
1w ago
The liberalism of the Declaration of Independence—classical liberalism with Anglo-American features that complicate and enrich it—is a rare bird. It is also very much under attack today, from the left and the right. The ascendant left wants a new anti-liberal regime established on the basis of its view of History, race, gender, and “DemocracyTM,” while prominent elements of the fractured right want a new aristocracy, or a new New Deal, or a new novus ordo founded on the notion of right order. The left wants to racialize everything and, as Jeremy Carl has brought to our attention, it takes dire ..read more
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A Loper Bright Future for Statutory Interpretation
Liberty Law | Essays
by Chad Squitieri
1w ago
The Supreme Court’s 1984 opinion in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. was not supposed to be revolutionary. Justice John Paul Stevens, the opinion’s author, initially thought the case to involve an application of “pretty-well settled law” to a “very careful study of the facts.” But over time, as portions of the Chevron opinion were analyzed apart from their initial factual context, the case was transformed into a full-fledged doctrine of substantial and controversial import. Substantial because the doctrine governed how courts reviewed legal decisions made by admin ..read more
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A Specious Form of Judicial Restraint
Liberty Law | Essays
by Nelson Lund
1w ago
When eight members of our disputatious Supreme Court join an opinion on a controversial topic like the Second Amendment, it’s safe to expect a narrow decision. Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion in United States v. Rahimi is indeed narrowly drawn, and this consensus will encourage proponents of strong gun rights to applaud the Court’s restraint. Every Justice rejected the Biden Administration’s proposal to give legislatures wide latitude to disarm individuals or groups considered by the government to be dangerous or irresponsible. But while the decision certainly could have been worse, we sh ..read more
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Libertarianism Updated
Liberty Law | Essays
by Randy E. Barnett
1w ago
As I describe in my new memoir, A Life for Liberty: The Making of an American Originalist, I have always been on the right. In 1964, at the age of 12, I debated on behalf of Barry Goldwater in front of my entire grade school student body. In my 12-year-old heart, I knew he was right. But, in my junior year at Northwestern University, I went from being a William F. Buckley conservative to a libertarian. In my senior year, I organized and taught an accredited seminar on libertarianism. Then, in the fall of my first year of law school, I met and was befriended by Murray Rothbard and the entire Ne ..read more
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Artistic License Stretched Too Thin?
Liberty Law | Essays
by Henry T. Edmondson III
1w ago
Flannery O’Connor warned that “there won’t be any biographies of me because … lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make for exciting copy.” The challenge, then, for Ethan and Maya Hawke in creating a biopic about O’Connor was to decide whether to focus on her life or her work. They decided to do both, with modest, but limited, success, combining a mundane life with grotesque stories. Together they agreed that the story of her life should be interwoven with, as Maya put it, a “kaleidoscope” of her stories.  But how does one organize a kaleidoscope? The Hawkes employ an ..read more
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