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Volokh Conspiracy Holiday Gifts – 2022

Volokh Conspiracy Holiday Gifts – 2022

The holiday season is now upon us! If you’re looking for possible gifts for the loyal Volokh Conspiracy readers in your life, what better than VC blogger books?

VC author’s latest book is by David Bernstein Ranked: The Untold History of Racial Classification in America. It is an indispensable overview of the history and evolution of the use of racial classifications in the modern United States.

The VC-ers also released two books last year: Randy Barnett’s The Original Meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment: Its Letter and Its Spirit (co-authored with Evan Bernick) and the revised edition of his own Freedom of movement: voting on foot, migration and political freedom which was officially released in early 2022). Barnett and Bernick’s book is a major contribution to our understanding of what many consider to be the most important amendment to the Constitution. It has already begun to reshape our understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Edited volume by Jonathan Adler Marijuana Federalism was published in 2020. It contains everything you ever wanted to know about the relationship between federalism and the pot, and includes contributions from leading scholars in several different disciplines.

Free to move advocates for expanding opportunities for people to “vote with their feet” in federal systems, the private sector, and through international migration. I outline the key benefits of foot voting over conventional ballot box voting and how removing barriers to foot voting can massively increase freedom and opportunity for millions of people around the world. The revised edition addresses several new issues, including arguments that migration must be limited to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases such as Covid-19, claims that immigrants could generate a political backlash that threatens democracy and the impact of remote work on foot voting. As with the original edition, I donate 50% of all royalties from the book to charities for the benefit of refugees, who – sadly – are in need more than ever at this difficult time.

Among my other favorite books from VC authors is this one by Randy Barnett Restore the Lost Constitutionby David Bernstein Rehabilitate LochnerDale Charpentier, Blatant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texasby Jonathan Adler Cases and the Roberts CourtJosh Blackman’s Unprecedented and Untangledand Eugene Volokh, Academic legal writing.

Randy’s book is one of the best recent works on originalism and constitutional legitimacy. It is relevant to ongoing debates over legal interpretation that are sure to heat up again as the Supreme Court considers several major cases in the near future. Rehabilitate Lochner explodes many myths about one of the Court’s most reviled decisions, a decision that remains relevant in current debates on “judicial activism”. Flagrant conduct is an excellent account of a milestone in the history of gay rights. It provides helpful historical context for the still-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 assess claims that it has a pro-corporate bias. The two books by Josh Blackman provide valuable detailed accounts of the many disputes generated by the Affordable Care Act. To finish, Academic legal writing is full of useful advice, while somehow managing to make this usually unexciting topic interesting.

The Cambridge Handbook of Classical Liberal Thought (edited by Todd Henderson), includes chapters from three different VC bloggers: Jonathan Adler on environmental policy, David Bernstein on anti-discrimination law, and my own contribution on “voting with your feet”.

This list is not intended to overlook important books in Ken Anderson, Sam Bray, Orin Kerr, David Kopel, David Post, and other VC bloggers. I have not mentioned them only because their subjects are far from my own areas of expertise.

In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I will also mention the second expanded edition of my own book Democracy and political ignorance: why a smaller government is smarter. My last book before Free to move has been Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective, co-edited with Iljoong Kim and Hojun Lee. It analyzes the use and abuse of eminent domain in a variety of countries around the world.

My other books include The Gripping Hand: Kelo vs. the City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domainwhich is a jurist’s first book on one of the Supreme Court’s most controversial modern decisions, and A conspiracy against Obamacare: the Volokh conspiracy and the health care case (co-written with VCs Randy Barnett, Jonathan Adler, David Bernstein, Orin Kerr and David Kopel). Conspiracy against Obamacare focuses on the VC’s significant role in the Obamacare litigation and is the only book that includes contributions from six different VC bloggers. In 2016, the University of Chicago Press published an updated paperback edition of the The gripping hand.

I wish all our readers a happy holiday season!

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