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Liberalism as Armed Doctrine: A Conversation with Philip Hamburger

with Philip Hamburger

Editor’s Note: This podcast was originally published on August 15, 2018.

Every book that Columbia law professor Philip Hamburger writes changes discourse on a subject. The author of Separation of Church and State, Law and Judicial Duty, and the award-winning and Supreme Court cited Is Administrative Law Unlawful? now turns his inquisitive mind to the liberal mind. He joins us to discuss his latest book Liberal Suppression.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on August 15, 2018 at 10:38:17 am

Excellent interview!

This book really changed and informed my understanding, not only of the historical context, basis, and origins of the 501c3, but of its very real, very contemporary implications. In addition, the discussion answered and clarified many of same questions and impressions that arose during my reading of the book.

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Paul Binotto
on August 15, 2018 at 10:47:23 am

Great, good to be of service.

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Richard M. Reinsch II
on August 16, 2018 at 19:33:36 pm

Gold stars for yet again drawing attention to Hamburger's work. He seems to be that rare contemporary law prof breaking intellectual ground in important areas of constitutional law. "Liberal Suppression" has not been reviewed in the press to my knowledge, although a brief synopsis is available. Thus, not having read the book, I was eager to hear L&L's podcast in hopes of learning more about what are apparently important themes of the book: 1) the nature and historical origins in the U.S. of what he dubs "theological liberalism" and how that differs and resembles what is commonly perceived as theological liberalism (aka ''social gospel" progressivism) and 2) its political influence on modern liberalism. The discussion did allow for fleeting mention but little explication and no clarity on either matter. So, I'll buy the book. Thanks for alerting me to its existence

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Pukka Luftmensch
on August 18, 2018 at 15:18:46 pm

I'll buy it as well.

Also, re: Your comment: "”THUS BECOMES a CONSTITUTIONAL matter of contingent empirical circumstances, not a priori principle.” on Rogers essay at the main blog is spot-on for the creation and Judicial support of 501(c)3 speech suppression.

Ah salud!

And Hamburger is one of the most clear headed / clear thinking expositors of historical common sense / theory i have encountered.

To: richard Reinsch:

Hamburger should be a regular guest on the podcast.

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gabe
on September 16, 2018 at 11:40:36 am

Most Americans assume that the prohibition of political speech by religious institutions is based on the Constitutional separation of church and state, not on income tax exemptions legislated into existence in fairly recent times.

The only restraint on political speech by religious and other 501c3 organizations should be the risk of dividing and alienating supporters...not the power of the taxman.

The only clean way to break from all this is to simply abandon much of legislative attempts to remove money from political discourse, and to eliminate the tax deductibility of all "charitable" contributions. Charities thrived before the Income Tax was made constitutional. Tax exemption of such donations is primarily a sop to the rich who are courted by powerful tax-exempt institutions for donations that are "subsidized" by our income tax laws. Most church members get no tax benefit for their donations, especially in light of the recent increases in the standard deduction. Certain tax privileges enjoyed by the clergy (e.g., tax-free housing allowance) can be preserved if Congress chooses to do so.

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Brian Kullman
on September 16, 2018 at 13:23:56 pm

Interesting observations.

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Paul Binotto
on September 26, 2018 at 05:56:34 am

Hi, love the podcast. But please change the website so I can download the podcast and listen to it offline, or tell me how I can do this within the current set up, I can't seem to figure it out!

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Ben
on September 26, 2018 at 08:07:41 am

You can download it at iTunes, Android, and any number of podcast platforms.

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Richard M. Reinsch II
on September 27, 2018 at 06:20:13 am

[…] latest subject, in Liberal Suppression (2018), is an inquiry into the legitimacy of restrictions on the political speech of non-profit […]

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Is Section 501(c)(3) a Form of Censorship?
on October 02, 2018 at 10:23:12 am

[…] new book, Liberal Suppression, argues that section 501(c)(3)’s speech restrictions are prejudiced and unconstitutional. These […]

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Image of Section 501(c)(3)’s Legacy of Prejudice: Mark Pulliam Sees No Evil
Section 501(c)(3)’s Legacy of Prejudice: Mark Pulliam Sees No Evil
on October 10, 2018 at 11:37:56 am

I could only go along with doing away with such tax deductions if the income tax were a flat rate type, and with strong limitations on increases (supermajority in each house of Congress). Of course that would probably require steep reductions in expenditures to be at all feasible...

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R O
on October 10, 2018 at 11:40:45 am

Is there a transcript available? My hearing is often not sharp enough for less-than-perfect audio quality, and speakers who do not enunciate very clearly and audibly. My hearing aid too often just amplifies mumbling intact.

TIA

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R O
on July 18, 2019 at 17:19:46 pm

I have long argued for eliminating 501c3 status.

Eliminating this law would solve all the problems related to restricting speech and discrimination in the granting of the status.

Moreover, few people would dispute that government appropriations to religious organizations simply because they are religious organizations (and not, for example, in exchange for goods or services rendered) would violate the Establishment Clause. Yet Section 501c3 lets government do indirectly what it cannot do directly, creating an end-run around the First Amendment. And to the extent that religious organizations discriminate against members of suspect categories, Section 501c3 results in government financing of private discrimination.

Also, Section 501c3 makes no economic sense. It subsidizes the charitable giving of people in high tax brackets (a/k/a rich people) more than the equal charitable giving of people in low tax brackets (poor people). Yet the theory of diminishing marginal returns suggests that if we want people to make gifts (that is, forgo current consumption), we need to offer more incentives to poor people (who already have less consumption) than to rich people.

Finally, eliminating Section 501c3 would promote democratic accountability by making Congress actually vote for (and publicly account for) the subsidies it grants, rather than hiding them from the voting public.

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nobody.really
on July 18, 2019 at 17:29:09 pm

Still a good listen and just as timely.

Just a note to the editor, a minor typo is worthy of correction; the podcast originally aired in Aug. 2018 not "2008" as indicated above.

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Paul Binotto
on July 18, 2019 at 20:30:31 pm

Still a good listen and just as timely.

Just a note to the editor, a minor typo is worthy of correction; the podcast originally aired in Aug. 2018 not “2008” as indicated above.

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Paul Binotto
on September 11, 2019 at 15:38:13 pm

It is some eleven months later, but here is a couple of ideas. First, you can download the podcast and then use you sound player to adjust the speed - or for that matter, on my laptop Mac for example, use the "equalizer" to playback the recording selecting and deselecting parts of the audio spectrum to make for best listening! (I'm sure the PC has tools for this, too. Ask a tech Geek!)

Alternatively, use a Google search for "speech to text" app, or "speech to text app for pc." My results show, for example, "The 8 Best Dictation Software to Help You Work Faster." From the list results, one can then dive into reviews for a software tool to - hopefully - produce the text results from this and other podcasts that you'd like to read.

Of course, all this is much less than having it transcribed and ready for you. But where there's a will, there seem to be ways!

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Orson Olson
on September 11, 2019 at 20:13:33 pm

Thanks for the tips, but (my) life is too short to put that much effort into a method of communication that I have struggled with for 68 years such that my brain is just not aurally proficient at the rapid decoding of a stream of spoken words (and needing to be very clearly enunciated most of the time - a lot of speakers cannot manage that) used over long periods (minutes) to express what are likely to be complicated thoughts as opposed to how much better, and more quickly I can read (and just as importantly re-read) the same words with far less "distortion". Have you ever tried to follow Youtube's closed captioning of such dialogue? That is almost a comedy skit in crazy word rendering. There is already far more textual material of this nature that I would like to read, but will not be able to get to in whatever time I have left, so I will skip the spoken stuff to maximize my input efficiency ;-}

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R O

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

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