*** Full transcript at http://reason.com/reasontv/2016/04/14… ***
In his forthcoming book Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People, Randy E. Barnett, the intellectual leader of a consciously libertarian legal movement that has hugely reshaped how courts interpret the law, lays out his case for “judicial engagement,” in which judges actively challenge and invalidate laws and policies that infringe on individual rights and freedom. Our Republican Constitution is a powerful rebuke to democratic majoritarianism, which holds that legislators have b
A professor at Georgetown Law School, Barnett has also been at the center of two major Supreme Court cases in the 21st century. He was the lead in 2005’s Raich case, in which the Court ruled that Congress’ power under the Commerece Clause was immense. And, as he recounts in gripping and compelling fashion in his new book, Barnett helped to create the nearly successful (and in his telling, partly successful) challenge to the individual mandate at the heart of President Obama’s controversial health care reform.
Born in 1952, Barnett grew up in the Chicago area, attended Northwestern as an undergad (he majored in philosophy), and went to law school at Harvard, where he was a classmate of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Garland, he says, is a smart, nice guy who would be terrible from a libertarian perspective because of his reflexive deference to lawmakers under virtually any circumstance. “As a matter of judicial philosophy,” says Barnett. I think he would not be a good justice for us to have”. In the early 1970s, he was associated with the Center for Libertarian Studes and economist Murray Rothbard, whom he says continues to shape his thinking in important ways.
An alumnus of the Institute for Humane Studies and an active participant in the Federalist Society, Barnett is the author the highly regarded and controversial academic books The Structure of Liberty (1998) and Restoring the Lost Constitution (2004). Intended for a general audience, Our Republican Constitution is simultaneously intellectually rigorous and a real page-turner, filled with dramatic anecdotes that illustrate Barnett’s powerful and provocative argument that routine deference to elected legislators is the wrong way to interpret the Constitution or create a rich and flourishing society.
Barnett sat down with Nick Gillespie at Reason’s D.C. headquarters for a wide-ranging conversation about his experiences working in his father’s laundry, his favorite Supreme Court case (that would be Lochner), how he developed his nascent libertarianism at a time when few people called themselves such, why he thinks a new political party may be a necessity, why he thinks Donald Trump is an authoritarian, and why he believes Ted Cruz understands how the Constitution limits government power.
About 1 hour.
Camera by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain; edited by Swain.
Full transcript and more at http://reason.com/reasontv/2016/04/14…
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