Epstein, Yoo, & You
In an August faculty lounge tradition, Professors Epstein & Yoo are taking listener questions — and it’s an eclectic bunch. Tune in as the professors debate everything from the limits of stare decisis to whether Barack Obama could be Vice President; from whether there should be more politicians on the Supreme Court to the legal problems with Dred Scott (yes, it involves Roman law); from the lack of intellectual diversity on college campuses to the radicalism in Seattle’s city government. All that plus the hosts survey the wreckage in their home cities, consider the virtues of not being a Supreme Court clerk, and spend some time on William Howard Taft arcana. As you do.

Subscribe to Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo & Senik in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

Now become a Ricochet member for only $5.00 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 7 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Scott R Member
    Scott R

    Troy, yep, your rephrasing of my question better expressed what I intended, thx

    • #1
  2. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito

    I ask a short question in order to get it read. So thanks Troy, you pretty much got it. No longer under the obligation to keep it concise in order to get it on the air, allow me to restate in a long and meandering way.

    You ever hold a scythe? My grandpa had a couple in his barn. Large things, and unwieldy, unless you’re using it for the specified task. Then it’s quick and efficient. Until Cyrus McCormick comes along and invents his famous reaper. The reaper is superior in every way to the scythe for that specific task of reaping grain. The only trouble comes when you have to storm a castle. Then you want a blade in your hand.

    You look at a lawyer with a biography like Lincoln’s (uh, pre politics) and he knows a thing or two about life outside of court rooms. You look at any supreme court nominee today and you can clearly see he’s built his entire biography to be sitting in front of the Senate not actually answering questions. A machine built with that much specificity is hard to retool for other purposes when you really need something to take down Frankenstein’s monster.

    Not that I’d really care to see a politician nominated. Those guys are specifically tools. Frankly, I’d like to see someone outside of the Harvard caste take the job.

    • #2
  3. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks

    On the term limits question, and the way the 22nd Amendment is phrased:

    I’ve played those mind games back when I was in high school.  The amendment can be bypassed in an even more insidious way.  Barak Obama need not be elected Vice President to assume to the office of President.  If the Vice President were to resign as well, under statute the Speaker of the House of Representatives would assume the office.  But the Speaker need not be a member of the House.  The House could elect anyone to that office.  As John Yoo pointed out, the amendment phrasing is curious.  There must have been some discussion about loopholes.

    Regarding term limits, I’ve gone back and forth, and in the end I’m not a fan, especially having seen the experiment in California with their state legislators.  A term limited legislator is looking for his next job.  He can use his office for, hard to prove, quid pro quo.  He need not make an explicit deal.  Over time, it will become obvious to them that legislators that play along will end up with high paying sinecures in the private sector.  They need not engage in obvious positions like lobbying either.

    As far as Epstein’s remarks about other state’s legislators having too much power, the Republicans in both houses of Congress have addressed that in their caucuses by term limiting committee chairmanships.

    Each house of Congress can always change the rules, and power need not be based on seniority.  In many state legislatures it’s not.

    Lastly, if there is to be term limits, why make them lifetime limits?  In the vast majority of time a person having held an office runs again as a non-incumbent is actually starting from square one in trying to get the job back.

    In fact, we’ve had three former presidents run for the job again, and only one of them has won.

    • #3
  4. Guruforhire Inactive


    • #4
  5. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive



    The latest episode is not on spotify.



    • #5
  6. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive

    @troysenik : Thanks for my question!


    • #6
  7. LibertyDefender Member

    John Yoo (@52:18):

    And maybe after that you’ll have a little mutually assured destruction and deterrence and then it will all stop.  That’s my optimistic hope.

    I like – and share – John Yoo’s definition of optimism.

    • #7
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.