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Next week, Harvard University Press will be releasing my new book, The Classical Liberal Constitution: the Uncertain Quest for Limited Government. This volume — which consists of 700 pages and took over seven years to write — is the most systematic exposition of my views on constitutional law that I have ever produced, offering an alternative to both traditional liberal and conservative legal thought.
For a brief teaser of the full book, consult my new column for Hoover’s Defining Ideas, where I note:
… [i]t is imperative to remember that eternal vigilance is indeed the price of liberty. When our Supreme Court drops its guard and defers to the federal government on matters of taxation and regulation, we end up with a huge government that saps the energy of a nation and gives us the tragedy that is Obamacare.
The Court’s progressives uphold these laws because they believe in their efficacy, even though labor unions and agricultural cartels always work against the long-term aggregate interests of the community. For their part, conservatives often practice a narrow and misguided originalism that ignores the foundational economic principles that lend coherence to the Constitution as a whole. The classical liberal approach does neither. It rejects both the judicial restraint of the conservatives and the economic naiveté of the progressives, and in so doing supplies the only blueprint for judicial action that can help lift this nation from its current malaise. We pay a high price for straying from first principles.