Other Cato News

November/​December 1999 • Policy Report

Randy E. Barnett, the Arthur B. Fletcher Professor of Law at Boston University, has been named a visiting fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. Barnett is currently working on a book on constitutional interpretation, The Presumption of Liberty, with Cato’s support. He also participates in Cato Forums and seminars, including most recently the Cato University Summer Seminar and the conference “Beyond Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century.” Barnett is the author of The Structure of Liberty (Oxford, 1997) and the editor of The Rights Retained by the People: The History and Meaning of the Ninth Amendment (Cato/​George Mason, 1989).

Mark A. Groombridge, a research fellow in the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, is the coauthor of a new book, Tiger by the Tail: China and the World Trade Organization (AEI Press, 1999). Groombridge and Claude Barfield offer major recommendations about the terms of accession for Chinese membership in the WTO. They argue that increased “transparency” of China’s legal and administrative apparatus should be more of a priority for the WTO than market access issues of tariff reduction and liberalization.

Pilon Discusses Constitution in Cato’s Letters

The latest in the Cato’s Letters series (no. 13) is an essay by Roger Pilon, Cato’s vice president for legal affairs, titled “The Purpose and Limits of Government.” In it, Pilon discusses the moral, political, and legal theory behind the Declaration of Independence, then shows how that theory is reflected in the Constitution and how modern constitutional law has departed in major ways from the original design.

“The most cursory reading of the writings of the day makes it plain that the Founders intended nothing like our present American leviathan,” Pilon writes, adding that “many of the grievances the Declaration lists, which led to our revolt, are today the ordinary stuff of government in America.”

The Cato’s Letters series features distinguished essays on political economy and public policy. The name Cato’s Letters is taken from a series of early 18th‐​century essays on political liberty that played a major role in laying the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.