Category: Liberty Feeds

Did Jefferson and Madison Believe in Restrictions on the 2nd Amendment? No.

Ever since we ran our report outlining how President Trump has ramped up enforcement of unconstitutional federal gun control for three straight years, I’ve been inundated by excuses. They range from “he has to enforce the law” to “Hillary would have been worse.” One of the most disheartening excuses is that “The Second Amendment isn’t […] …

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David Gordon On The Life and Times of Murray Rothbard

Jeff Deist and David Gordon discuss Murray N. Rothbard’s life from an insider’s perspective, touching on Rothbard’s experience founding the Cato Institute, his relationship with Mises and the areas where they disagreed, his time with Ayn Rand and her Objectivist followers, and more. -RW (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

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Stephen F. Williams, R.I.P.

Roger Pilon
We at Cato are saddened by the passing, from Covid‐​19, of our good and long‐​time friend, Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Steve, as we all knew him, was a regular guest at Cato events, a frequent contributor to our programs, and a significant supporter of Cato. I first met Steve in November of 1990, in my early days at Cato, when he moderated a panel for our conference on “The Expanding Criminal Law.” More than a decade later, in 2002, he reprised that role at the Center for Constitutional Studies’ very first Constitution Day Symposium.
But Steve was more than a learned and engaging moderator. He lived the life of the mind, not simply as a distinguished judge but as an author in his own right, with books and scholarly articles on energy law, a subject on which he was a noted expert, and more broadly on Russian and Soviet affairs. In fact, we held a private luncheon for Steve and a group of Russian scholars to discuss his 2006 book, Liberal Reform in an Illiberal Regime: The Creation of Private Property in Russia, 1906–1915. And more recently, Steve served as a commentator for two Cato book forums, one in June…

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FreedomWorks Statement in Response to President Trump’s Signature of Payroll Tax Cut Executive Order

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to President Trump’s decision to sign an executive order providing for a payroll tax cut, Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks President, commented: “As recently as the past week, critics of the President thought that a payroll tax cut was done for. President Trump has shown them wrong. This payroll tax cut will provide hard working Americans and businesses the financial relief they deserve. In particular, this payroll tax cut will benefit frontline workers who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic. It is unfortunate that Congress could not take the reins and come to an agreement to deliver relief,…

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Final Weekend for EFF’s 30th Anniversary Challenge Coin

To celebrate the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s 30th anniversary, both new and upgrading recurring supporters can claim a first-of-its-kind EFF challenge coin as a token of thanks. These coins will be individually numbered for each supporter and are only available until Sunday night, August 9, 2020 at 11:59 pm PT. Challenge coins follow a long tradition of offering a symbol of kinship and respect for great achievements—and we owe our strength to folks like you.
To be eligible for an EFF anniversary challenge coin, start a new recurring donation beginning at the monthly Copper Level ($5) or annual Silicon Level ($20), and you’ll…

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The Founding Fathers’ Coup d’État

[Adapted from chapter 5 of Our Enemy, the State.]
The revolution of 1776–1781 converted thirteen provinces, practically as they stood, into thirteen autonomous political units, completely independent, and they so continued until 1789, formally held together as a sort of league, by the Articles of Confederation. For our purposes, the point to be remarked about this eight-year period, 1781–1789, is that administration of the political means was not centralized in the federation, but in the several units of which the federation was composed. The federal assembly, or congress, was hardly more than a deliberative body of delegates appointed by the autonomous units. It had no taxing-power, and no coercive power. It could not command funds for any enterprise common to the federation, even for war; all it could do was to apportion the sum needed, in the hope that each unit would meet its quota. There was no coercive federal authority over these matters, or over any matters; the sovereignty of each of the thirteen federated units was complete….
It may be repeated that while State power was well centralized under the federation, it was not centralized in the federation, but in the federated unit. For various reasons, some of them plausible, many…

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I’ve changed my mind on the Fed’s mandate

I’ve been obsessed with monetary policy for most of my life and at age 64 I rarely change my mind on this issue. But today I’ve changed my mind on the Fed’s so-called dual mandate, which is actually a triple mandate: In 1977, Congress amended the Federal Reserve Act, directing the Board of Governors of […]
The post I’ve changed my mind on the Fed’s mandate appeared first on Econlib. …

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An Unconstitutional Action That’s Been “Ratified” Is Still Unconstitutional

Ilya Shapiro and James Knight One of the Constitution’s chief protections for individual liberty is the separation of powers. The legislative power is granted to Congress, the judicial power to the courts, and the executive power to the president. This division cannot be altered by anything short of a constitutional amendment.
Still, since the beginning of the 20th century, Congress has enjoyed considerable success in limiting the president’s executive power through the creation of what are known as “independent agencies.” One of the main differences between these agencies and traditional executive departments is that officers of the latter serve at the pleasure of the president, while the heads of independent agencies are insulated from presidential removal except “for cause.” This structure denies the president the ability to exert control over independent agencies, even though they exercise significant executive power by enforcing laws and pursuing investigations.
This past June, the Supreme Court took a step toward limiting independent agencies by holding that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violated the separation of powers (Seila Law LLC v. CFPB, in which Cato filed an amicus brief). The CFPB, created in 2010, was even less accountable to the democratically elected branches because, unlike the independent agencies…

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Economics Professor Isn’t Allowed to Open to All Students His Class Critical of Marxism

Karl Marx A longtime economics professor at Wright State University, Professor Evan Osborne, who has repeatedly requested permission to teach a class critical of Marxism has been turned down by the university administration. Meanwhile, the university frequently offers courses that praise Marxism, Osborne told The College Fix. Osborne said the “short version” of his predicament “is that we …

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