Transparency is for government. Privacy is for its citizens. Hear Lawson Bader defend DonorsTrust against accusations that it spreads "dark money" in the political system, LIVE – Sunday, 8-9am PACIFIC.Read More
Yesterday, Bob went on Craig Roberts' Life!Line show to discuss his new free ebook, Secret Sauce: The Founders' Original Recipe for Limited American Democracy (now available as a free PDF or on Amazon for $1), and the perils of *too much democracy.*
What happens when we start to think of rights as something granted to us by government, rather than our creator? The Founders created a constitutional republic to protect those rights, and limit the number of rights we are required to give up to an absolute minimum.
Find out why Bob dreads the day we live in a democracy:
Trump versus Hillary. Four years ago, the prospect of such a face-off would have seemed absurd. Now it's hard to remember what life was like before the non-stop media spectacle. The choice between "R" and "D" has never felt more superficial, yet the stakes have never been higher. The next president will nominate at least one, and probably several Supreme Court justices, leaving a legacy far beyond whatever harm he or she might "accomplish" through their agenda. Trump has promised a nominee in the mold of Antonin Scalia, but can anyone take his words at face value? It was only this Thursday that he acknowledged that he would accept the election results as valid... and only if he wins! Bob is joined by John Rothmann, a Bay Area radio veteran and expert on American politics, for a round-up discussion of all things Election 2016™. Together, they will try to make sense of the political circus – from the debates, to Supreme Court picks, to the odds of various scenarios unfolding on November 8. Back in simpler times, when Bob was first starting in radio, Rothmann served as an invaluable mentor to him. Rothmann sees Trump as a clear danger, who must be stopped. Bob makes the case that a vote for a third party candidate – *cough* Gary Johnson – is far from a wasted vote.
When Rebecca Friedrichs first started teaching in Orange County nearly 30 years ago, she was surprised to discover how little recourse her school had to remove poor quality teachers from their posts. For decades, she would do her best to contain her frustration with a system – backed by powerful public sector teacher's unions – that protects inept, long-time insiders (read: tenure) at the expense of students and outstanding young faculty. Finally, an opportunity arose for Friedrichs to become the lead plaintiff in a free speech case against the California Teachers Association, and take a stand against mandatory dues for non-members who oppose the union's practices. Her side appeared on the verge of a landmark Supreme Court victory when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away suddenly – leaving the court divided 4-4, which affirmed the lower court's ruling in favor of the union. Friedrichs and her attorney, Terry Pell (President of the Center for Individual Rights), will Bob to explain why they are still fighting on behalf of teachers and students to have Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association reheard once a ninth justice is confirmed. The saga of Scalia's Supreme Court vacancy continues on the show of ideas, not attitude.
Last week, Bob examined how the United States has ended up in a situation that would have frustrated the Framer's intentions, had they seen it coming. The next president will likely hold more authority than was ever supposed to be granted to a single person, by virtue of nominating the ninth judge to a sharply divided “4-4” court. Ilya Shapiro is carefully observing the political chess game around the Supreme Court nomination, and urges Senate Republicans not to hold hearings or a confirmation vote for President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. Instead, he says they should wait until after a new president is elected – making the judicial pick the paramount issue in the coming election. Shapiro joins the show this Sunday to argue that “We, the People” should make the choice of who determines the make-up of the court, with so much on the line. Later, Bob will break down a new video from Learn Liberty featuring The Free Market Institute’s Benjamin Powell on the surprising truth about sweatshops and child labor laws.
The recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia heralds an unprecedented moment in American politics. The sad news came as a surprise to his defenders and detractors alike, but the eulogies have been quickly eclipsed by the debate his vacant seat spawns. It's hard to overstate the importance of the next appointee to the Supreme Court bench (not to mention the others likely to come soon). Furthermore, the looming senate confirmation process injects yet another contentious issue into an already heated election year. To see where this battle is headed, Bob will be joined by University of San Diego Law Professor Gail Heriot. Heriot positions Scalia's legacy in terms of his deference to the logic of constitutional governance over any individual or narrow majority's final authority.
Who will be confirmed, and how will it all unfold?
By seeking to thwart the Constitution, Republicans are playing with fire - The Washington Post [AUDIO] - President Obama on the Constitution being clear on what happens next.
[AUDIO] - President Obama's contradictory statement on Samuel Alito
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.
Freedom-lovers everywhere are lamenting the recent Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell – perhaps the final blow to the constitutional challenge to ObamaCare (or as it may soon be known, SCOTUSCare). There is a silver lining, however, in the form another recent Supreme Court decision, in Horne v. USDA, which upheld the constitutional protections of raisin growers' personal property from takings by the USDA. Baylen Linnekin is Executive Director of the Keep Food Legal Foundation, an adjunct professor at both American University and George Mason Law School, and a frequent contributor to Reason Magazine. Linnekin submitted an amicus curiae brief in the Horne case, and his arguments were mirrored in the majority opinion – authored by none other than John Roberts – arguing that the USDA cannot require raisin growers to surrender a portion of their crop for the "public purpose" of stabilizing the raisin market. The ruling is a victory to all of those cherish "the right of every American to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing." Bob and Baylen also look at the many ways our food freedoms are still being restricted. You won't leave hungry after this episode of the show of ideas not attitude.
Perhaps you remember the story of Susette Kelo, the owner of the "Little Pink House" in New London, Connecticut that was condemned to make way for an economic development project led by Pfizer. Maybe you were even a part of the public backlash – larger than any other stemming from a Supreme Court decision in recent memory. Ten years after the Justices voted 5-4 to uphold city's abuse of eminent domain, we can start to look at the impact of this major precedent with implications for all of our property rights and individual sovereignty. The question still remains: If the government can take your house to provide land for another party's private economic benefit, what can't it do? In his new book, *The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain*, Ilya Somin offers the definitive account of the case as it has impacted broader trends in American jurisprudence. Somin joins Bob this Sunday to expose the special interests that are preventing effective eminent domain reforms at various levels of government. He also reveals how pivotal groups like the Institute for Justice have been in raising awareness about this issue, and how their efforts have translated into genuine change. Our property rights are at stake – Somin's message is an important one if we are going to resist the grasping hand of eminent domain.