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.
Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right
Under common law, private property and liberty of contract were long protected by the courts — not entirely, but sufficiently to enable a free society to emerge in America. In the late 19th century, however, and for some 40 years thereafter, that protection intensified, yet it was still not an era of unbridled “laissez faire constitutionalism” that later critics of the era would label it, pointing to the Supreme Court’s famous Lochner decision of 1905. Rather, early 20th-century Progressives were making steady inroads on the liberty of contract in particular. And with the New Deal, that liberty, especially concerning economic affairs, almost disappeared, and continues even today as a “second-class” right. In a penetrating new Cato Institute book, constitutional scholar David Mayer subtly explores the complex history of liberty of contract, exploding current myths and shedding new light on this fundamental right. Please join us for a discussion of this important issue.