- In our Books section this week James Ely reviews the new paperback edition of The Supreme Court in the Early Republic:
The central theme of Casto’s account is that the early Supreme Court justices sought to uphold the policies of the fledgling federal government. Casto maintains that the federal courts in the 1790’s can best be understood as national security courts. The recurring wars between Great Britain and France posed serious challenges for the Washington administration as it sought to chart a neutral course. The Supreme Court lent support to the government in a variety of ways. For example, it extended admiralty jurisdiction to encompass prize cases, thus helping to reign in the operations of French prize courts on American soil. Similarly, the Court affirmed a broad power in Congress to levy excise taxes and sustained the authority of the government to wage an undeclared war against France.
- At Econ Log, Bryan Caplan looks at the limits of asymmetric information in the subprime mortgage crisis.
- Good things at the Fed Soc site this week: (1) Executive Branch review blog. Alison Somin considers Secretary of Labor nominee Tom Perez’s record at the DOJ. (On this point, Ken Masugi’s analysis of Perez is not to be missed.) (2) Listen to this podcast with Roger Noriega on restoring the rule of law in Venezuela.
- Michael Fragoso: What Pope Francis can learn from the American Constitution (Link no longer available).
- Work on your core: The quasi-nationalized education curriculum that is the Common Core comes under sustained attack.
- Texas swagger, with empirical support.
- Nigel Biggar’s feature essay in the current Standpoint analyzes the attempt to conjure altruism from genetic selfishness using game theory.