The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedomby Robert A. Levy, William Mellor
The Founding Fathers wanted the judicial branch to serve as a check on the power of the legislative and executive, and gave the Supreme Court the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution in a way that would safeguard individual freedoms. Sadly, the Supreme Court has handed down many destructive decisions on cases you probably never learned about in school.
The Founding Fathers wanted the judicial branch to serve as a check on the power of the legislative and executive, and gave the Supreme Court the responsibility of interpreting the Constitution in a way that would safeguard individual freedoms. Sadly, the Supreme Court has handed down many destructive decisions on cases you probably never learned about in school. In The Dirty Dozen, two distinguished legal scholars shed light on the twelve worst cases, which allowed government to interfere in your private contractual agreements; curtail your rights to criticize or support political candidates; arrest and imprison you indefinitely, without filing charges; seize your private property, without compensation, when someone uses the property for criminal activityeven if you don't know about it!
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Levy (senior fellow, Cato Inst.) and Mellor (president & general counsel, Inst. for Justice), both affiliated with libertarian think tanks, have chosen 12 Supreme Court cases that, in their opinion, severely limited individual rights through the expansion of government. As their introduction makes clear, they are conservatives who favor limited government intervention, and the cases they have chosen reflect their position. The chapters are organized by the constitutional issues raised by each case, such as promoting the general welfare, regulating interstate commerce, and property rights. The authors' critiques of these issues are sure to provoke debate. However, they do examine each case on the basis of legal reasoning and in each chapter lay out the flaws in the Court's thinking that make each decision in their view a "bad" one. These explanations are the strong points of the book. Although some readers will disagree with their viewpoint, Levy and Mellor have done a good job of explaining their thinking. Public libraries may be interested in this book for legal collections, but academic libraries can find other, more scholarly titles.
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Meet the Author
Robert A. Levy is senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many other publications. William Mellor is the president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice. He litigates constitutional cases involving economic liberty, property rights, school choice, and free speech.
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Authors did well explaining how the Court, in Wickard v Filburn, granted Federal Jurisdiction over INTRA state regulation, by reversing the definition of the INTER state Commerce Clause in Article 1. This rewriting of The Commerce Clause, without the constitution's amendment process, did an end run around the 10th amendment in the Bill of Rights, rendering it without any practical relevant application anymore. The 10th amendment was 'back-door' repealed. If Chapter 8's Carolene Products case doesn't scare you entrepreneurs to death, then you're already dead.
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