Does the Constitution Still Matter? Evan Bernick from the IJ

Ever since Marbury v. Madison institutionalized the process of judicial review, the judicial branch has been responsible for deciding whether legislation is consistent with the federal Constitution. Some conservative critics of the Supreme Court decry its “judicial activism,” i.e., the imposition of judges’ personal policy preferences as constitutional commands. Other critics fault the Supreme Court for its “judicial restraint,” i.e., the court’s acceptance of government policies (like Obamacare) that mandate or regulate behavior, even when a plain reading of the Constitution seems to prohibit it. The Institute for Justice, the nation's premiere libertarian public interest law firm, is responding to this debate by calling for judicial engagement, or active judicial enforcement of the Constitution’s guarantees of individual liberty. Evan Bernick is the Assistant Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice, and principal author of a new report, Enforcing the Constitution, featuring twenty case studies in both judicial engagement and its opposite, judicial abdication. Bernick has written extensively for the Huffington Post on how the Supreme Court can and should remain a bulwark of individual liberty. He joins Bob to highlight a few of these cases and prognosticate about the prospects for proper judicial enforcement of constitutional liberties.

Why Do You Need The Government’s Permission To Earn A Living?

It is perverse to think that in America, a person needs the government’s permission to sell his or her services to another American. It is especially unjust when that permission is routinely denied. If that permission is granted, and that person’s business income doesn’t generate enough tax revenue to satisfy the government’s insatiable appetite, the government can then shut that business down by denying its relicensing.
It is offensive when an industry group can successfully petition the government to keep out their competition. Isn’t lawful competition what the free market is all about? Thanks to organizations such as the Institute for Justice, barriers to honest work are coming down one at a time. In this episode, Bob McNamara, a senior attorney at the IJ who is a front line warrior defending the right to work. McNamara’s stories about the anti-competitive forces at work in transportation will enrage you and his successes will excite you. Taxis, jitney buses, inter city buses, limos, Uber and Lyft… Hear about the defense of capitalism from someone on the front lines.

A Nation of Cowards

A commonly held perception is that America is a nation of tough competitors. Just give us a free enterprise system with no governmental interference and we will prosper and provide for our families. Perhaps that was once the case but no more. We’ve become a nation of cowards who are fearful of competition and insecure in our own abilities. There is no better proof of this than the system of occupational licensing in every state. Americans in every profession and occupation have pulled up the drawbridge. Once they are safely inside the castle, they keep others out. Why else would three states insist on licensing interior designers, other than to prevent newcomers from entering that occupation? It’s the same for funeral attendants, florists, and home entertainment installers.   No organization has done more to defend the right of a worker to earn an honest living without the need for expensive licensing fees and needless schooling that the Institute for Justice. To discuss the work of IJ and its new study on how occupational licensing hurts low income workers, Bob will be joined by Dana Berliner, Litigation Director of the IJ. What you learn will enrage you.

No They Can’t

Who is the “they” and what “can‘t” they do? In this episode, John discusses his new book “No They Can’t – Why Government Fails but Individuals Succeed.” As you all know, John is host of Stossel, which appears every Thursday night at 9 PM Eastern on the Fox Business Channel. We wish our show could be 12 hours long, but it’s not, so Bob and John have narrowed their discussion topics down to public education, TSA, Obamacare, occupational licensing, minimum wage laws, nanny state (and they touch on about a thousand other red meat issues that are important).

Government vs. Private Industry

Bob will explore licensing laws that regulate yoga studios in the state of Virginia. The government is hurting these businesses by collecting fees from proprietors who are training new instructors and it goes so far as to put them in jail if they don’t comply with the law. Rob Frommer, chief litigator from the Institute for Justice, will explain how this not only violates the constitution but goes against freedom of speech. 

audio Block
Double-click here to upload or link to a .mp3. Learn more

Score One For Free Enterprise

Bob’s guest was Lee McGrath, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Chapter of the Institute for Justice which has just won a spectacular victory for free enterprise by striking a blow against licensing.  More taxis for Minneapolis + more taxi drivers free to enter the occupation without the approval of government =  a model for the rest of the country.