Friday Roundup, August 2nd

  • The Liberty Forum for August is an attempt to answer the question if the courts should assume a more prominent role in reining in the administrative state.  Joseph Postell’s lead essay argues that

Today’s administrative state, therefore, makes a mess of the constitutional separation of powers and its careful adjustment of incentives, checks and balances. In such a system, what role can and should the courts play in reviewing agency decision-making? Here is where a deeper understanding of the courts’ historical role in administration is most needed.

Excellent responses from Gary Lawson and Mark Seidenfeld question Postell’s argument in favor of heightened judicial review.

  • In our Books section this week, Ken Masugi reviews Jim Ceaser, Andrew Busch, and John Pitney’s After Hope and Change: The 2012 Elections and American Politics:

The authors advise that “after all the noise and diversions, campaigns often tend to make clear the fundamentals that prevail in the country.” In other words, the campaign itself is “most unlikely” to decide the outcome but it “remains an important object of study for what the candidates say and for how the victor frames the choice, which can influence the course of American politics.” While not denying possible turning points, especially the debates, the authors also contrast Romney and Obama campaign tactics, Anchorman Ron Burgundy versus The Social Network, TV ads versus a targeted electronic media and personal campaign.

  • Speaking of the great Masugi, he is back for the month of August on Law and Liberty as a guest blogger. Known for his capacity to cut to the core of what is true and what is false, he will be, in short order, causing many individuals to have all manner of physical and mental disturbances.
  • Should the institutional scaffolding of free speech shape rather than be superfluous for the law of free speech? That’s the subject of Paul Horwitz’s new book First Amendment Institutions, and the subject of the current Liberty Law Talk.