Category: Law

In America Chief Justice Marshall, following Blackstone and Coke, first breathed life into the corporation in 1819, writing in the Dartmouth College case, which is widely quoted in judicial opinions to this day: “a corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.” Marshall’s dictum appeals to leftist critics for […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted January 27, 2004 @ 1:52 PM | Law,Philosophy

David Sucher, who runs the very interesting urban planning blog City Comforts, is asking again for “a principled, thoughtful conservative/libertarian critique of how to create the built environment,” and I figure as a sort of villain in the piece. What makes me uneasy is that in actuality there really isn’t any principled, thoughtful Conservative/Libertarian (C/L) […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted August 23, 2003 @ 1:20 PM | Culture,Law

Two of my favorite libertarian bloggers have squared off over the meaning of the Commerce Clause. In this corner, from the Cato Institute, Radley Balko: Nearly every libertarian interpretation of the Constitution I’ve read says that the intent of the Commerce Clause was to facilitate commerce between the states, not to inhibit it. It was […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted July 8, 2003 @ 6:30 PM | Law

I can’t hope to match the peerless coverage of the Bollinger cases by Team Volokh, but a few thoughts: O’Connor’s majority opinion in Grutter admits that the Court is obligated to find, under Adarand Constructors, which subjects racial categories to strict scrutiny, a “compelling state interest” in affirmative action. It finds this interest in diversity. […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted June 24, 2003 @ 7:28 PM | Law

“Workshop” theories of art, which trace characteristics of art to external constraints, generally leave me cold. In most arts very little stands between conception and execution. You think it, and there it is. Architecture is the exception. (Also movies, but to an ever-lessening degree.) For most of human history engineering knowledge severely constrained what could […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted May 19, 2003 @ 5:11 PM | Culture,Law

A larval town, Arcata, CA, pop. 16,000, puffs itself up like a banded newt, seeking not a mate but media attention, and lo! it succeeds. Arcata already has a foreign policy, like all self-respecting municipalities these days, including my dear old Manhattan, bless its grimy heart. Arcata is against the war. It is against global […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted April 21, 2003 @ 6:50 PM | Law

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” What are these unenumerated rights? Many theorists, of whom Robert “Inkblot” Bork is the most notorious, have denied that unenumerated rights exist at all. The dominant school of legal philosophy, legal positivism, which holds […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 12, 2003 @ 11:21 AM | Law

There has been considerable discussion of the ethics of police torture in the blogosphere without a single invocation of the seminal American text on the subject, a work with which all of these distinguished ethicists are doubtless familiar. I refer, of course, to Dirty Harry. That famous torture scene on the football field has its […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted March 6, 2003 @ 3:17 PM | Law,Movies

Justice Holmes, beloved of the left, beloved of the right (law-and-economics guru Richard Posner has edited the latest collection of his writing). It must be his looks more than anything: the height (6’3″), the big bristly white mustache, the Brahmin carriage, the steely gaze; he looks the very model of the modern Supreme Court Justice, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted February 9, 2003 @ 9:26 PM | Law

Juan Non-Volokh writes: Before the D.C. Circuit, occasional [Volokh] Conspiracy participant Erik Jaffe submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Eagle Forum, pointing out that, read literally, the copyright clause does grants Congress the power “to promote the progress of Science and useful Arts,” and then proceeds to specify the means through which that […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted January 16, 2003 @ 7:04 PM | Law