Gail Heriot on the Significance of Justice Scalia’s Passing

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? 

LINKS:

"Antonin Scalia was a friend of democracy" Boston Globe, 2/14/16

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

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.

Baylen Linnekin on the Front lines of the Fight for Food Freedom

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.

Subscribe in iTunes

Ilya Somin on the Grasping Hand of Eminent Domain

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.

Overruling Government Overreach: Damon Root on the Libertarian Legal Movement

In his new book "Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court," Reason Magazine Senior Editor Damon Root takes up a central question to our Constitution: Should the courts exercise restraint by allowing lawmakers to craft a wide range of legislation, or should they more actively defend individual rights from being overridden by majority rule? In fighting for the latter position, libertarians find themselves opposed to a long line of legal giants, from the progressive champion Oliver Wendell Holmes to conservative icon Robert Bork. Complicating matters, "judicial activism" has developed a reputation for abuse in the hands of politically-motivated judges. But in recent years, a libertarian legal movement rooted firmly in the Founders' vision of individual rights has grown to challenge the legacy of judicial restraint. Root will join Bob for the full hour this Sunday to discuss how a small "elite core of frontline fighters" has overcome the odds in numerous cases – from gun control to occupational licensing – to persuade judges to overrule government overreach.

Manny Klausner - A Libertarian Life

Manny Klausner has lived the ultimate Libertarian life. He co-founded Reason Magazine, was a Co-Founding Director of the Institute for Justice and acts as General Counsel to the Individual Rights Foundation. From studying with Mises to spending time in Chicago and California with Milton Friedman, he’s walked the walk and talked the talk. In this episode, Manny appeared as our guest on the show to discuss SCOTUS’ handing down the “Obamacare decision,” or the single greatest threat to our liberty that has ever been judicially created. Manny and Bob cover the Constitutional backdrop to the decision: what it means to our liberty and why. To paraphrase Jefferson in his first inaugural address, “we are all Libertarians.” Discuss the decision that changed the Constitution with Bob and Manny Klausner.

How Could The Founders Have Gotten This So Wrong?

Alexander Hamilton described the federal judicial system as “the weakest of the three branches of government.” However, the unelected nine Supreme Court justices have “legislated” hundreds of overwhelmingly powerful laws. To name a few, they have granted abortion rights, eminent domain and mandatory minimum wage.   Even the worst of our federal judges hold their jobs for life. They can be appointed in a rigged process unrelated to merit and despite incompetence, laziness or some other collection of human frailty, they will never be removed.   This Sunday at noon, Bob will explore the worst and yet the most powerful branch of government – the judiciary. Join Bob and meet Robert Yates, the Founder you’ve never heard of, yet one who opposed the Constitution and understood what most of the other Founders did not.   The good news is that Bob has a cure for the judiciary’s shortcomings. The solution is one which the Founders would embrace, the politicians will love and bad judges will fear. It took 230+ years, but Americans will get a fair shake in court. Don’t miss this show.

The Supreme Court and You

How important is a Supreme Court Justice to you?  How will it effect your life?  Should Elena Kagan be confirmed?  Bob examines these important issues as well as how the Supreme Court has “watered down” the Constitution time after time.  This third branch of our government was created to protect us from an over-reaching government.  How and why has it failed us so miserably?  Tune in this Sunday at noon for this and much much more.

Weekly Libertarian Issues

This Sunday, Bob is likely to discuss the Supreme Court ruling that gives corporations political power to endorse candidates, Obama’s plan to press for health care reform despite the results of the Senate election in Massachusetts and lobbying.  He is always ready to keep listeners up to date on breaking news as it is making headlines.

Do the Unborn Have Rights?

With six Supreme Court Justices attending Catholic Mass and being sermonized about abortion a week ago, it’s time to visit this issue and all its complex baggage – separation of church and state, Constitutional protection (or not?) of the right to an abortion, criminalization of abortion, rights of the unborn vs. rights of the mother (and father).  It is fascinating and loaded subject.