“You Asked”

Once a year we throw open the doors of the faculty lounge and let the Law Talk audience ask questions of Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo. This year’s result: a conversation that touches on everything from acquiring Greenland to whether John Adams was a constitutional scofflaw, from whether federal courts have gotten too trigger happy with injunctions to which foods make the professors wretch. Most importantly: which class did Richard struggle with in law school? The answer will … not surprise you at all.

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There are 22 comments.

  1. Al Sparks Thatcher

    Regarding the fixing of terms on the Supreme Court, I’m unalterably opposed to an arbitrary mandatory retirement age (for anything, not just the Supreme Court). I’m kind of disappointed in Richard Epstein’s fondness for arbitrary retirement ages (for anything, including academia, by the way).

    I don’t have a problem with fixed terms. Regarding @miffedwhitemale‘s point about confirmation battles, that’s easily solved by having the clock ticking towards the term limit upon getting appointed and sworn in. I really don’t care about whether each presidential term gets a fixed number of justices to appoint. Pick a term limit and they all are entitled to serve it regardless of how it ends and whether one president gets more justices to appoint over another. It’s not “fair.” But I don’t care about being fair towards a particular president.

    It’s significant that no state appoints its judiciary membership to lifetime terms. It’s time the federal government do the same.

    Regarding John Yoo’s point about having older members of the court serve, he seems to be implying that fixed terms would preclude having older people on the court. But the present system encourages the appointment of younger justices starting out. Having fixed terms would take less pressure off of presidents to appoint younger members in the first place. They could start out older, presumably with some more time as a member of an appeals court (federal or state).

    • #1
    • August 17, 2019, at 1:57 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Thanks for calling me a superfan, guys! And thanks for answering my question.

    Rufus, congrats on getting Prof. Epstein to agree with your suggestion about an 18-year SCOTUS term limit.

    • #2
    • August 17, 2019, at 2:26 PM PST
    • Like
  3. RufusRJones Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Rufus, congrats on getting Prof. Epstein to agree with your suggestion about an 18-year SCOTUS term limit.

    Honestly, I was just asking because this is not something I’m expert on. I just find Mark Levin incredibly compelling. 

    JMO, if you read everything recommended by Mark Levin, Dennis Prager, and Mises.org you would be way better off. I realize there are some contradictions in there, but it still holds true.

    • #3
    • August 17, 2019, at 2:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  4. RufusRJones Member

     There isn’t a shred of value added from the tax code. It’s like some stupid crazy thing from medieval times. Politicians auctioning off tax brackets and deductions at gunpoint. GOSPLAN was a more sensible institution compared to our tax code.

    • #4
    • August 17, 2019, at 11:53 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Max Ledoux Admin

    Ricochet Audio Network: Most importantly: which class did Richard struggle with in law school? The answer will … not surprise you at all.

    It’s gym, right?

    • #5
    • August 18, 2019, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Blue Yeti Admin

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    Ricochet Audio Network: Most importantly: which class did Richard struggle with in law school? The answer will … not surprise you at all.

    It’s gym, right?

    There’s no gym class in law school. 

    • #6
    • August 18, 2019, at 2:49 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Joe D. Lincoln

    Will we allow homesteading in Greenland?…

    • #7
    • August 19, 2019, at 10:51 AM PST
    • Like
  8. kedavis Member

    Joe D. (View Comment):

    Will we allow homesteading in Greenland?…

    After seeing photos of Greenland posted on Ricochet and elsewhere, I’m reminded of a line from the movie Forbidden Planet: “Nothing to do but throw rocks at tin cans, and we have to bring our own tin cans.”

    • #8
    • August 19, 2019, at 5:31 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Stad Thatcher

    I did a spittake when Troy referred to “Big Mattress” . . .

    • #9
    • August 22, 2019, at 8:36 AM PST
    • Like
  10. MISTER BITCOIN Coolidge

    I can’t believe I forgot to ask this question…

    I’m getting a head start for next year.

    question:

    was Marbury v Madison decided correctly?

    did Justice Marshall overreach with the principle of ‘judicial review’?

     

    • #10
    • August 22, 2019, at 12:46 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Max Ledoux Admin

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    I can’t believe I forgot to ask this question…

    I’m getting a head start for next year.

    question:

    was Marbury v Madison decided correctly?

    did Justice Marshall overreach with the principle of ‘judicial review’?

     

    I do believe they’ve answered this question before in a previous year. Check the archives (although, unfortunately, we lost some of the earlier audio files and can no longer find them).

    • #11
    • August 22, 2019, at 2:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. kedavis Member

    Have you asked the members? some of them might have them. I don’t have Law Talk myself, but I have all of Ricochet Podcast going back to #1.

    • #12
    • August 22, 2019, at 8:48 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Max Ledoux Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have you asked the members? some of them might have them. I don’t have Law Talk myself, but I have all of Ricochet Podcast going back to #1.

    You do? Why? I mean, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just that most of our podcasts are about current political issues, so they aren’t exactly evergreen. (Speculation in an episode from August, 2011, about who would win the GOP nomination in 2012, for instance, is not exactly riveting in 2019.)

    • #13
    • August 23, 2019, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Miffed White Male Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have you asked the members? some of them might have them. I don’t have Law Talk myself, but I have all of Ricochet Podcast going back to #1.

    You do? Why? I mean, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just that most of our podcasts are about current political issues, so they aren’t exactly evergreen. (Speculation in an episode from August, 2011, about who would win the GOP nomination in 2012, for instance, is not exactly riveting in 2019.)

    But it can be wildly entertaining. Listening to jpod on various podcasts pontificating with great certainty in October of 2016 that Trump couldn’t possibly win the election, for example.

     

    • #14
    • August 23, 2019, at 9:47 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Taras Coolidge

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have you asked the members? some of them might have them. I don’t have Law Talk myself, but I have all of Ricochet Podcast going back to #1.

    You do? Why? I mean, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just that most of our podcasts are about current political issues, so they aren’t exactly evergreen. (Speculation in an episode from August, 2011, about who would win the GOP nomination in 2012, for instance, is not exactly riveting in 2019.)

    But it can be wildly entertaining. Listening to jpod on various podcasts pontificating with great certainty in October of 2016 that Trump couldn’t possibly win the election, for example.

     

     For the most part, the same people are now pontificating with great certainty that Trump can’t possibly win the 2020 election: “And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire”.

    • #15
    • August 23, 2019, at 6:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. kedavis Member

    For me, it’s mostly because Lileks is always so good.

    • #16
    • August 23, 2019, at 8:29 PM PST
    • Like
  17. RufusRJones Member

    I have a lawyer ethics question while we are at it. Why can Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris lie about Ferguson Missouri? Both the Holder DOJ and a Missouri state court held that the cop did nothing wrong. Both Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris literally used the word “murder”. I don’t get how “officers of the court” can lie about the justice system like that. In my opinion you should have to turn in your bar card if you’re going to do that, but I suppose the same thing is true of OJ Simpson.

    My other question is why can Elizabeth Warren lie about her heritage in her bar records and not get busted for it? My understanding is that both Harvard and Warren committed felonies with this Indian stuff.

    • #17
    • August 24, 2019, at 1:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. MISTER BITCOIN Coolidge

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I have a lawyer ethics question while we are at it. Why can Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris lie about Ferguson Missouri? Both the Holder DOJ and a Missouri court held that the cop did nothing wrong. Both Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris literally used the word “murder”. I don’t get how “officers of the court” can lie about the justice system like that. In my opinion you should have to turn in your bar card if you’re going to do that, but I suppose the same thing is true of OJ Simpson.

    My other question is why can Elizabeth Warren lie about her heritage in her bar records and not get busted for it? My understanding is that both Harvard and Warren committed felonies with this Indian stuff.

     

    she definitely lied in Texas when she wrote Native American in 1986. I suppose it’s state law or the aegis of the american bar association?

     

    • #18
    • August 24, 2019, at 2:05 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. RufusRJones Member

    Just to be super clear about where I’m coming from, I recently heard an explanation about Bill Clinton’s perjury issues. The basic idea is, it’s bad enough when a citizen lies under oath, but it really messes up the justice system when officers of the court do it. Bill Clinton both held a bar card and was head of the justice system at the same time. Setting aside the politics, it was a slam dunk that he deserved to be impeached.

    Harris and Warren—officers of the court— are damaging the justice system similarly. Maybe it’s not as severe in it’s immediate consequences, but we just cannot have every Tom Dick and Harry lawyer doing this or the whole thing is going to fall apart.

    • #19
    • August 24, 2019, at 2:14 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. RufusRJones Member

    FWIW

     

    • #20
    • August 24, 2019, at 4:40 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Taras Coolidge

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I have a lawyer ethics question while we are at it. Why can Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris lie about Ferguson Missouri? Both the Holder DOJ and a Missouri court held that the cop did nothing wrong. Both Elizabeth Warren and Kamila Harris literally used the word “murder”. I don’t get how “officers of the court” can lie about the justice system like that. In my opinion you should have to turn in your bar card if you’re going to do that, but I suppose the same thing is true of OJ Simpson.

    My other question is why can Elizabeth Warren lie about her heritage in her bar records and not get busted for it? My understanding is that both Harvard and Warren committed felonies with this Indian stuff.

     

    she definitely lied in Texas when she wrote Native American in 1986. I suppose it’s state law or the aegis of the american bar association?

     

     When Hillary Clinton claimed she had been named after Edmund Hillary — he was actually still an obscure New Zealand beekeeper when she was born — she was not lying, but merely repeating a family legend.

     Similarly, Elizabeth Warren’s Native American ancestry appears to have been a family legend, perhaps based on nothing more than an ancestor’s high cheekbones. 

     On the other hand, calling the Ferguson cop a murderer seems to qualify as actionable slander. Of course, Warren and Harris are members of the elite and the cop isn’t, so a Democrat or RINO judge will give them a pass; as we recently saw in the Covington kid’s case against the Washington Post

    • #21
    • August 24, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. kedavis Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Just to be super clear about where I’m coming from, I recently heard an explanation about Bill Clinton’s perjury issues. The basic idea is, it’s bad enough when a citizen lies under oath, but it really messes up the justice system when officers of the court do it. Bill Clinton both held a bar card and was head of the justice system at the same time. Setting aside the politics, it was a slam dunk that he deserved to be impeached.

    Harris and Warren—officers of the court— are damaging the justice system similarly. Maybe it’s not as severe in it’s immediate consequences, but we just cannot have every Tom Dick and Harry lawyer doing this or the whole thing is going to fall apart.

    I notice your examples are probably all cisgender white males. For shame! :-)

    • #22
    • August 24, 2019, at 9:39 PM PST
    • 1 like