Featuring Alex Kozinski, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
So many Americans are concerned with how “Washington isn’t listening to them,” and candidates like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson are stoking that outrage. But maybe Washington isn’t listening because it is so big that only mobilized special interests have the resources and incentives to pay attention. Maybe big government will never really pay attention to the people. If this is so, then maybe people should stop trying to control each other so much.
American leaders have cooperated with regimes around the world that are, to varying degrees, repressive or corrupt. Such cooperation is said to serve the national interest. But these partnerships also contravene the nation’s commitments to democratic governance, civil liberties, and free markets. In Perilous Partners, authors Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent provide a strategy for resolving the ethical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Citizens United Redux: The First Amendment Vindicated?
Featuring Bradley A. Smith, Former Chairman, Federal Election Commission and Chairman, Center for Competitive Politics; Jamin Raskin, Professor of Law, Director of the Program on Law and Government at Washington College of Law, American University; Maryland State Senator; and John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute.
In January 2008, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the commercials for a film, Hillary: The Movie, violated the section of the McCain-Feingold Act that restricts “electioneering communications” within 30 days before primaries. The United States Supreme Court was expected to rule on this case in the summer of 2009. Instead, the Court asked that the case be reargued, focusing on whether two of its precedents should be overturned. The first precedent upheld part of McCain-Feingold; the second (and more important) decision, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, upheld government prohibitions on political speech by corporations. The reargument is scheduled for September 9, 2009. Proponents claim that overruling the Austin precedent would unleash business spending on political speech, thereby weakening democracy. Others see, in the end of Austin, an opening toward new era of political speech that is free of government control. Please join us for a spirited assessment of the prospects of a major change in First Amendment law and electoral politics.