A Case against Child Labor Prohibitions

Provisions against child labor are part of the International Labor Organization’s core labor standards. Anti-sweatshop groups almost universally condemn child labor and call for laws prohibiting child employment or boycotting products made with child labor.  But a new paper from Benjamin Powell argues that much of what the anti-sweatshop movement agitates for would harm the very children they intend to help.  Powell contends that the process of economic development, in which sweatshops play an important role, is the best way to raise wages and improve working conditions.

Another DC Handgun Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the Washington, D.C., ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it was unconstitutional.  Cato scholar Tom G. Palmer was a plaintiff in the case, Palmer v. District of Columbia, which reinforces the landmark 2008 decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. Says Palmer, “The idea that [D.C.] can simply ban the exercise of a fundamental and enumerated constitutional right is absurd.”

D.C. Circuit Rules Health Insurance Subsidies in Federal Obamacare Exchanges Illegal

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the Internal Revenue Service regulation authorizing tax credits in federal exchanges was invalid. The case, Halbig v. Burwell, was spurred by an article by Jonathan H. Adler and Cato scholar Michael F. Cannon that appeared in the Spring 2013 Issue of Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine. Says Cannon on ruling, “The purpose of Halbig was to end the massive economic and political disruption caused by the president’s decision to ignore the clear statutory language he is sworn to uphold.”

Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?

The cost of health care for state and local government employees is increasing rapidly, as it is for workers across the economy.  But adjusting to these cost increases is more difficult for state and local governments than for private businesses.  In new research, Jeffrey Clemens and David M. Cutler examine how these governments adjust their budgets and services to handle the increasing burden.

Recent Commentary


August 27

Roots of Liberty: Unlocking the Federalist Papers

Featuring Tim Donner, Founder and President, One Generation Away; Roger Pilon, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Cato Institute; Christopher Donesa, Former Chief Counsel, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; and Claire McCaffery Griffin, Principal, CGC, LLC; moderated by Dean Reuter, Vice President and Director, Practice Groups, Federalist Society.

4:00pm Hayek Auditorium

Of Special Note

Cato Home Study Course

Cato Home Study Course

Spend time with some of the world’s greatest minds and truest friends of freedom.

• Professionally prepared audio programs on the historical, philosophical, economic, legal, and moral foundations of individual liberty and limited government – including the thoughts and views of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Adam Smith, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Henry David Thoreau, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and others.

• Listen/Download at no cost.

• Programs you can enjoy at your own pace.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Constitution Day

Constitution Day 2014

To celebrate Constitution Day and the publication of the thirteenth annual Cato Supreme Court Review, the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies Presents a Symposium:

The Supreme Court: Past and Prologue
A Look at the October 2013 and 2014 Terms

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This annual event features leading legal scholars analyzing the most important decisions of the Supreme Court’s recent term, and a look ahead at what to expect during the Court’s next term.

Details and registration