The holiday season is just around the corner! If you’re looking for potential gifts for the loyal Volokh Conspiracy readers in your life, what could be better than books from VC bloggers?
VC staff released two new books this year: Jonathan Adler’s Marijuana Federalism and My Own Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom.
Jonathan’s outstanding anthology contains everything you ever wanted to know about the relationship between federalism and pot. It contains contributions from leading scientists from various disciplines.
Free to Move advocates expanding the possibilities for people to “vote with their feet” in federal systems, in the private sector and through international migration. I will describe the key benefits of foot voting over the traditional ballot box and how removing barriers to foot voting can massively increase freedom and opportunity for millions of people around the world. I donate 50% of all royalties from the book to charities for the benefit of refugees who are unfortunately more in need than ever during this difficult time. The Introduction to Free to Move (which includes an overview of the rest) is available for free here.
My favorite books by VC writers include Randy Barnett’s Restoring the Lost Constitution, David Bernstein’s Rehabilitation Lochner, Dale Carpenter, Flagrant Conduct: The Tale of Lawrence Vs. Texas, Jonathan Adler’s Business and Roberts Court, Josh Blackman’s Unprecedented and Unraveled, and Eugene Volokh, Academic legal writing.
Randy’s book is one of the finest recent works on originalism and constitutional legitimacy. This is relevant to ongoing debates about legal interpretation, which are sure to get sharpened as the Supreme Court considers several important cases in the near future. Lochner’s rehabilitation explodes numerous myths about one of the Court’s most maligned rulings that remain pertinent to the current debates on “right-wing activism”. Flagrant Conduct is a great report on a milestone in the history of gay rights. It provides a useful historical context for the ongoing battles over same-sex marriage and related issues. The volume, edited by Jonathan Adler, is an excellent guide to whether the Supreme Court favors business interests and how we might evaluate claims that it has a pro-business bias. Josh Blackman’s two books provide excellent accounts of the extensive litigation created by the Affordable Care Act. The two books cover the period up to 2016; I understand Josh is working on a third volume that will bring us into the present. After all, academic legal writing is filled with useful advice and somehow manages to make this generally unexciting subject interesting.
The Cambridge Handbook of Classical Liberal Thought (edited by Todd Henderson) contains chapters by three different VC bloggers: Jonathan Adler on environmental policy, David Bernstein on anti-discrimination law, and my own contribution on voting with the feet.
This list is not intended to belittle important books by Ken Anderson, Sam Bray, Orin Kerr, David Kopel, David Post, and other VC bloggers. I didn’t just discuss them because their subjects are distant from my own areas of expertise.
In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I will also mention the much expanded second edition of my own book Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why A Smaller Government Is Smarter. Unfortunately, the problem analyzed in the book played an important role in the 2016 and 2018 elections and was also a factor in 2020.
My last book before Free to Move was Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective, edited with Iljoong Kim and Hojun Lee. It analyzes the use and misuse of significant domains in a wide variety of countries around the world.
My other books include The Grasping Hand: Kelo v City of New London and The Limits of Eminent Domain, a legal scholar’s first book on one of the most controversial modern day Supreme Court rulings, and A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Case of the Healthcare (together with VC representatives Randy Barnett, Jonathan Adler, David Bernstein, Orin Kerr and David Kopel). The Conspiracy Against Obamacare focuses on the vital role of the VC in the Obamacare litigation and is the only book that has contributions from six different VC bloggers. In 2016, the University of Chicago Press published an updated paperback edition of The Grasping Hand, which includes new material on recent developments such as the growing legal and political battle for pipeline revenue.
I wish all of our readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. Hopefully it will be the last to be hit by the Covid pandemic.
In May 2020, Oxford University Press will publish my upcoming book “Free to Move: Foot-Polling, Migration and Political Freedom”, which will expand the possibilities for people to vote in federal systems, in the private sector and in the “sector.” through international migration. You can’t get it in time for this year’s holiday season, but it could be a great graduation gift next May or June.