Monday, January 2, 2012

Economic Liberty and the Constitution

I was halfway home, I was half insane
And every shop window I looked in just looked the same
--Style Council

Here is a well written series on economic liberty and the Constitution, with an emphasis on important Supreme Court decisions that first upheld, then supressed free market principles in the United States.

I plan to summarize some of the cases in other missives, as they dovetail nicely with other works that I have been reading.

The author's overall conclusion is similar to the one reached by Judge Andrew Napolitano's (2005) book Constitution in Exile. For the first 150 years of the United States, the High Court upheld (with a few notable exceptions such as Slaughterhouse 1872) economic liberty as central to the Natural Law concepts embodied in the Constitution.

However, this all came tumbling down during the FDR administration. A court that was barely able to stem mounting socialist sentiments in a series of 5-4 rulings in favor of economic liberty lost it when a swing justice, Owen Roberts, turned his hat around and began siding in favor of New Deal legislation that was constantly making its way thru the courts.

The opinions written by the socialist majorities of the court are truly comedies in flawed reasoning. The opinions written by the dissenting 'Four Horsemen' read like masterpieces in the understanding of natural law and original intent. They would also prove quite prescient in their forecasts of what the New Deal rulings would lead to--as we now know today.

It's essentially been a one way street to depostism and its spoils since.


dgeorge12358 said...

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.
~Franklin Roosevelt

dgeorge12358 said...

To finance the war against the Confederacy, Lincoln resorted to the standard method used by rulers throughout history when faced with tax revolts from the citizenry: he began inflating the currency.
~Jacob Hornberger