Epstein Laments the Obama Administration's Approach to Regulation

Constitutional Nirvana
Richard A. Epstein
April 28, 2009

Some years ago, Judge Douglas Ginsburg coined the phrase "a constitution in exile" to describe those, like myself, who never reconciled themselves to the constitutional revolution of 1937, which made the world safe for the New Deal reforms that authorized the federal government to cartelize labor and agricultural markets, and lots more. Fortunately, the opposition to these unwise social initiatives has not completely died away. Even so, these days, with the expanded role of government in labor, health, education, energy and the environment, libertarians are on the political defensive.

It was therefore bracing to read my longtime friend, Randy Barnett, commend in the Wall Street Journal the recent spate of tax tea parties to protest the ever-expanding role of the federal government into all aspects of our economic and social life. The hard question, as Barnett notes, is how to convert these small protests into concrete social action.

Richard A. Epstein