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Book Review: Economic Liberties and the Judiciary Edited by James A. Dom and Henry G. Manne

MARCH 01, 1988 by TOMMY W. ROGERS

George Mason University Press, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 • 1987 • 414 pages • $28.00 cloth; $15,75 paperback

Economic Liberties and the Judiciary consists of twenty-three essays by scholars from academia and jurisprudence who deal with the theory and practice of constitutional interpretation and the manner in which economic issues have been handled by the courts. They address such issues as the growing failure of the judiciary to protect economic liberties of human fights in property; the legitimate role of the judiciary—and of government and law generally—in a free society; and the implications of the demise of substantive due process when dealing with economic relationships and the market order. This volume challenges and reassesses attitudes that have long dominated constitutional law and have provided the operative notions for public policy. Now, for the first time in a generation, disciples of the current doctrine of “misguided judicial activism” are being forthrightly challenged on doctrines they have accepted on faith since the New Deal. This confrontation is important because the debate over the Constitution with respect to its guarantees of human fights in property and in economic liberty is, as the editors put it in their Introduction, “a debate over whether the Constitution will survive as a charter for limited government and individual freedom . . . .”

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March 1988

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Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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