Beware of Patent Reformers

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

On Monday, March 31, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International, in which I have signed on to a Friend of the Court Brief prepared by Charles Cooper.

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The Wrong Way to Combat Poaching

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

The Department of Interior, which is charged with the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, has announced its intention to introduce a comprehensive “ban on Commercial Trade of Ivory as Part of Overall Effort to Combat Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking.” That ban will cover both the sale of objects that contain any amount of ivory, however […]

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California Snubs Free Trade

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

In the 1808 English case of Buchanan v. Rucker, Lord Ellenborough asked rhetorically, “Can the Island of Tobago pass a law to bind the rights of the whole world?” to which he answered, “no.” That question was posed about a law that allowed a plaintiff to summon all parties into court by posting a notice […]

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Our Property Principle

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Last December, my book, The Classical Liberal Constitution was published. In it, I argue that a sound interpretation of the Constitution requires reading its key provisions in light of the comprehensive classical liberal theory that animated their introduction. Constitutional law does not evolve in a self-contained universe, but is embedded in the intellectual tradition of […]

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Patent Reform Gone Wild

by Richard Epstein

Law & Liberty Blog

It is a common insight that no system of civil procedure can be perfect. Make the requirements to maintain a lawsuit too lax and you’ll invite too many speculative or abusive law suits. Make the pleading rules too tight and many meritorious claims will find themselves kept out of the courts. In all cases, getting […]

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In Defense of the Classical Liberal Constitution

by Richard Epstein

Law & Liberty Blog

What follows is a short account of the central argument of a long book, of some 700 pages, that seeks to cover the basic outlines of constitutional law in three major areas: interpretation, structure, and individual rights. The theme that unifies these three separate topics is how they all relate to the quest for limited […]

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When Our Government Commits Fraud

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Last week, the government announced that it will receive another multi-billion dollar “dividend” from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That payment will return to the United States Treasury (with interest) all of the $187 billion in bailout money lent to the two mortgage giants after September 2008, pursuant to the Housing and Recovery Act (HERA) […]

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Libertarianism and Classical Liberalism: Is There a Difference?

by Mario Rizzo

ThinkMarkets

I consider myself both a libertarian and a classical liberal. I have been teaching a seminar in classical liberalism at the NYU Law School for six semesters. I am always asked about the difference. My answer is basically this. Classical liberalism is the philosophy of political liberty from the perspective of a vast history of […]

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Security, Uncertainty, and the National Security Administration: The President Should Defend, Not Revise, Current NSA Procedures

by Richard Epstein

Just Security

The question of national security and its relationship to individual privacy has always provoked a challenge for persons with strong libertarian inclinations, who rightly embrace a general presumption in favor of small government. On most economic matters, the group that hold these positions tend to be relatively small, and thus does not count as a […]

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Roe’s Knotty Legal Legacy

by Richard Epstein

Law & Liberty Blog

There is little doubt that, of all the Supreme Court decisions of the last 100 years, Roe v. Wade—a decision handed down 41 years ago yesterday—has generated the longest, unresolved controversy. This is not to say that it was the most important decision over this time span. That pride of place probably belongs to Brown […]

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