Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Richard Epstein On Originalism

UPDATE: There's a better version of the video (below) here on the CATO site.

Here's a great video on Epstein's latest book, the Classical Liberal Constitution. At about 10:15 he gives a concise explanation of his stance on Originalism and why he is so obsessed with Roman law:

I think you could teach a whole semester on just this one talk. He hits on most of his major themes all without taking a breath.

Also, his latest Hoover article is a particularly good one:

Here's a great example of how Epstein draws analogies to corporate rules to help interpret legal rules:
Indeed, the vital element in this clause is that it prohibits any transfer payment from one group of individuals to another, as those cannot serve the “general welfare of the United States.” To see why, take the analogous case where a corporate charter allows the Board of Directors to adopt only those measures that advance the general welfare of the corporation. Without question, the so-called business judgment rule insulates corporate officers and directors when they work in good faith to advance the welfare of the corporation, and thus all its shareholders, in transactions with third parties. But it is a per se violation of that rule for the directors to tax one subclass of shareholders in order to pay dividends to a second subclass. All transfer payments among shareholders clearly violate their duty to advance the welfare of shareholders as a group.
He links to this great diagram which I think complements his "law and geometry" stuff (discussed elsewhere).

As always, great stuff!

Richard Epstein On Animal Rights

The following are short clips from a 2006 interview by the folks at Gooseberry Productions in which Richard Epstein talks about animal rights. I'll see if they'll give us the full interview to post. :)

Respect For Anne Coulter

I don't know anything about Anne Coulter, but check out the video below at about 4:49. After listening to a clip of an interview with Richard Epstein, three educated adults completely misunderstood every word Epstein said, and Coulter gets it right and offers this endorsement:
"You should hang on every word by the genius Richard Richard Epstein. He knows everything about everything."
She's a polarizing figure for sure, but I'm glad she's on Team Epstein.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Props to Troy Senik

I don't know if the Law Talk or The Libertarian podcasts were his idea or if he was just selected to moderate them, but I'm grateful for the work Troy Senik does interviewing our man Richard Epstein. His interviews are always smart and frequently funny, and most importantly he steps back and lets The Man talk. Props to Troy!