Judicial Abdication vs. Judicial Engagement
Is the Supreme Court shirking its obligation to uphold the Constitution?
Clark M. Neily III
Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
Author, “Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government“
Wednesday, November 13
Minuteman Memorial Building
One Constitution Avenue, NE – Washington, DC 20002-5655
Remarks and Q&A
Remarks to be followed by drinks and hors d’oeuvres
The first 100 attendees will each receive a copy of Neily’s book.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once remarked that “the reason why the public thinks so much of the Justices is that they are almost the only people in Washington who do their own work.” However, according to Clark M. Neily III, judges at all levels might still be doing their own work, but are abdicating their responsibility, as James Madison put it, to serve as an “impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive.”
Neily argues that the judiciary’s knee-jerk deference to the other branches has resulted in an explosion in the size, cost, and intrusiveness of government. In any given year, the Supreme Court strikes down just three of the five thousand laws passed by federal and state governments. Unfortunately, this reflexive restraint toward other branches led to the Affordable Care Act being upheld last year and the approval of eminent domain for economic development purposes in Kelo v. City of New London (2005).
Neily has spent his career fighting against the unconstitutional expansion of government and a more properly engaged judiciary. He is the director of the Institute for Justice’s Center for Judicial Engagement, and he served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the watershed Second Amendment case, District of Columbia v. Heller.
Terms of Engagement has received enthusiastic accolades from constitutional scholars and leading luminaries of the limited government movement:
“Clark Neily’s elegant essay slays the idea that ‘judicial restraint’ is always a virtue. It often amounts to judicial abdication. Neily explains that judges must judge to defend the rights that government exists to secure.”
- George F. Will, political commentator
“Through the use of compelling real-world cases and remarkably clear, accessible and accurate explanations of current law, Clark Neily exposes the legal charade by which, in the name of ‘restraint,’ judges have stacked the deck in favor of those who use laws and regulations to line their own pockets. Required reading for all who care about their liberties and the Constitution that is supposed to protect them.”
- Randy Barnett, Professor at Georgetown Law School
“Provocative yet fair-minded, this book is essential reading for anyone who cares about our courts, our Constitution, or our country.”
- Kermit Roosevelt, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School
“Clark Neily weaves constitutional analysis with anecdotes in service of large principle. His basic principle is that a squishy policy of judicial deference disserves his clients, the public at large, and the critical role of judicial oversight in a democracy. He is right on all counts. A great read for lawyers and nonlawyers interested in the real-world consequences of judicial decision making.”
- Richard Epstein, Professor at the New York University School of Law
October 17th, 2013
America and the Ghost of Great Powers Past
Dr. Tim Kane,
Chief Economist, Hudson Institute
Co-author, “Balance: The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America”
Read Washington Free Beacon’s coverage of the event.
The Ming Dynasty, Holy Roman Empire, Imperial Britain: These are but a few of dozens of examples of once great civilizations that met an untimely demise. Each was an economic, political, and military powerhouse of their time, yet none could sustain their great success. What do all of these examples have in common?
In his latest book, co-authored with Glenn Hubbard, Dr. Tim Kane explains how few of these nations fell to outside invaders, but instead secured their own demise through corporate welfare, currency debasement, economic imbalances, and crumbling political institutions, and he questions whether we are heading toward the same fate given the current economic and political imbalances in the United States.
Watch Dr. Kane discuss the challenges ahead – and possible policy solutions – for America.
“The history of economic folly that they skillfully recount in ‘Balance’ is a timely reminder that societies that seem invincible are often anything but.” – Wall Street Journal
“In seeking to discover what might be common factors throughout history to explain the rise and decline of powerful states, Kane has succeeded in identifying surprisingly similar trajectories. Their thought-provoking analysis has compelling relevance for America’s future.” – Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State
“Offers some policy proposals that ought to be taken seriously, even by those who don’t agree with all their premises. At the very least, some of these ideas could be used as blueprints for the rare politician seeking some acceptable grounds for compromise.” – Time.com
“A readable, data-rich history of the fall of great powers through the eyes of two fiscally troubled US conservatives in 2013.” – Financial Times
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