Two items to help you pass the lockdown.
I have started rolling out for VIP members a few short custom videos drawn from my classes that many readers have long asked for, with more to come, but I decided I would share with all of our readers my most recent short background video (10 minutes) that I prepared for my students about the famous 1978 Penn Central case, which is one of the modern cases where the Supreme Court has rendered the “takings clause” of the Fifth Amendment in a completely incoherent fashion. (You won’t be surprised to hear that William Brennan wrote the majority opinion.) There is a backstory to this case that may be unfamiliar to many readers.
The “takings clause,” in case you are not familiar with it, is the final sentence of the 5th Amendment, “. . . nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” One big question for more than a century, stretching back at least to the 1880s Mugler case, is whether a regulation can constitute a taking.
I’m in the middle of going over the jurisprudence of takings with my class this semester, and thought some of you might like this piece of the story, and if you do like it, then sign up to be a Power Line VIP member and get more! Anyway, here it is:
Second, tomorrow (Wednesday), at 1 pm eastern time, I’ll be going online live with the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University for an hour-long discussion of “The Effects of Economic Emergencies on Liberty, Democracy, and Prosperity.” This online event is free and open to the public, and you can find out more information and register to watch here.
I’ll be looking most intently at three examples that are relevant for perspective on current responses to the dire economy of the virus shutdown: the National Industrial Recovery Act of FDR’s early New Deal; Nixon’s decision to delink the dollar to gold and impose wage and price controls in 1971, and Reagan’s handling of the “stagflation” crisis he inherited in 1981. Join in if you can!