Friday Roundup, January 10th

Brandon’s description of marriage and family life reflects a notable narrowing of what “constitutional” means. The original constitutional vision reflected a comprehensive system of how to sustain republican self-government in the long term. Government had its tasks, private institutions including the family had their tasks, and the proper functioning of each depended on the other. From the outset, non-hereditary government in a more fluid society required a less patriarchal family. Republican citizenship depended on a certain type of education, which, if the Founders were correct, would best be supplied by private nuclear families. Self-sufficient, independent, self-controlled, competent citizens were most likely to come from nuclear families. As long as this was the ideal of citizenship, governments were limited and families essential. There is a constitutional parallel between the city and the family—a family order sustained the constitutional order.

On July 10, 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) determined that Buckyballs and Buckycubes, executive office desk toys made for adults, were defective. The CPSC pressured retailers to stop selling these products, and on July 25, 2012, the CPSC’s staff brought an administrative action against Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC, the company that produced Buckyballs and Buckycubes, initiating a proceeding to order the company to stop selling all of its products and to conduct a total recall of all of its products already sold. On February 11, 2013, the CPSC amended its complaint to add Craig Zucker, the former General Manager of Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC, as a respondent, to hold him personally liable to conduct a CPSC-estimated $57 million recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes. On November 12, 2013, Mr. Zucker fought back, claiming that the CPSC overreached by bringing an administrative remedial action against Maxfield and Oberton, a limited liability company, as well as him personally. Mr. Zucker challenges the CPSC’s personal jurisdiction over him, claiming he is neither a manufacturer nor a distributor of Buckyballs or Buckycubes and that, instead, the CPSC is exercising undelegated adjudicative authority over individual corporate officers.