Book Forum

Constitutional Money: A Review of the Supreme Court’s Monetary Decisions

(Cambridge University Press, 2013)

April 24, 2013 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

Yeager Conference Center

Featuring the author Richard H. Timberlake, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Georgia; with comments by Steve H. Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics, The Johns Hopkins University, and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and George A. Selgin, Professor of Economics, University of Georgia, and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by James A. Dorn, Editor, Cato Journal, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cato Institute.

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This book reviews nine Supreme Court cases and decisions that dealt with monetary laws, together with a summary history of monetary events and policies — notably, the gold standard and the Federal Reserve System — as they were affected by the Court’s decisions. Several cases and decisions had notable consequences for the monetary history of the United States, and some were blatant misjudgements stimulated by political pressures. The cases included in this book begin with McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) and end with the Gold Clause Cases (1934–35). Those decisions remain in force today. The final chapter describes the adjustments necessary to return to a gold standard and briefly examines other monetary arrangements that would be consistent with the Framers’ Constitution.

Transcript of Professor Steve H. Hanke’s presentation