Blaze Books sat down with Georgetown Law Professor, libertarian lawyer extraordinaire, and one of the chief litigators of the Affordable Care Act, Randy Barnett, in order to get his book recommendations on a variety of subjects near and dear to readers’ hearts. Below is the second set in a multi-part series, in which Barnett gives us his three best new books on the Constitution and how it can be restored, and some commentary on each of the titles he selected.
And in case you missed them, be sure to check out the prior parts of our series:
1. Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government by Clark M. Neily III
Constitutional litigator Clark Neily describes how judges have abdicated their role in protecting the people from their “agents” in the legislature and regulatory agencies, and how their role in enforcing the Constitution’s constraints on power can be restored. Accessible explanation of law in the context of real world examples of how regulators side with the politically powerful against the small entrepreneurs.
2. Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter by Ilya Somin
Penetrating analysis of the problem with majoritarianism: the people who vote are generally ignorant of the track record of who they are voting for. Argues for more structural constitutional constraints on powers — like formal separation of powers and federalism — rather than relying solely on elections to hold pubic officials accountable.
3. Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement by Michael Patrick Leahy
A leader of the Tea Party situates the Tea Party movement in the great American traditions of liberty, constitutional constraints on power, and grassroots change. Tea Partiers everywhere need to read this.
4. BONUS: The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic by Mark Levin
Lawyer Levin explains how Article V can be used to restore the framework of the Constitution that the Congress, President, and the Supreme Court have interpreted out of existence.
Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he directs the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. Before teaching, he was a criminal prosecutor in Chicago with the Cook County States Attorney’s Office. In 2004, he argued the medical marijuana case of Gonzales v. Raich in the U.S. Supreme Court; and in 2012, he represented the National Federation of Independent Business in its challenge to the Affordable Care Act. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies in 2009.
Professor Barnett’s publications includes more than one hundred articles and reviews, as well as ten books, including Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton, expanded edition, 2014), A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave, 2013); Constitutional Law: Cases in Context (Wolters Kluwer, 2d ed, 2013), Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts (Oxford, 2010), Contracts: Cases and Doctrine (Aspen, 5th ed. 2012), and The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford, 1998), which was translated into Japanese.
You can read more about Randy Barnett at his website.