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Archive for June, 2012

John Goodman, Anthony Gregory and Robert Murphy to Speak at 2012 Freedom Fest! »

We are delighted that our Research Fellow John C. Goodman, Research Editor Anthony Gregory, and Research Fellow Robert P. Murphy will be among the many speakers at the upcoming 2012 Freedom Fest in Las Vegas (July 11-14), and we invite you to visit with us at the Independent Institute’s booth at the conference. 10:55...
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Fed Med to Fed Ed: Beware of the “Unconstitutionally Coercive” Standard »

A few months ago I wrote about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito’s take on the Obama administration’s arguments for the Medicaid expansion—a provision of the President’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Justice Alito offered U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the hypothetical example of a “federal education tax,” saying:...
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Limits on the taxing power? »

Calling the individual mandate a “tax” within the power of Congress is unsettling. Roberts noted this himself in his opinion: If it is troubling to interpret the Commerce Clause as authorizing Congress to regulate those who abstain from commerce, perhaps it should be similarly troubling to permit Congress to impose a tax for not...
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Chief Justice John Roberts Channels Oliver Wendell Holmes, Not Owen Roberts »

Conservatives like to have their constitutional argument both ways—to argue on one hand that the Supreme Court is obliged to defend against legislative folly and administrative overreach, and on the other hand to argue that the Court is obliged to uphold the Constitution’s letter and spirit. They often ignore, however, that Article III actually...
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Federal Student Loan Interest Rate Update »

Just before 1:00 a.m. this morning, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced they had a reached a deal on extending federal highway funding for two years, rather than the anticipated one year. It also includes extending the 3.4 percent interest rate on select federal student loans. More details are expected, but...
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ObamaCare Mandate Upheld: Those dirty, rotten taxes! »

I am still working my way through the opinions in the health care case (193 pages in total), which can be found here. But here is what I see as the skinny: 1. Chief Justice Roberts defected from the ranks of the conservatives to uphold the individual mandate. The Vote was 5-4. Roberts, Ginsburg,...
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College Loan Interest Rates: Real Change or Spare Change? »

The interest rate on federally subsidized student loans is set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 absent Congressional action. Apparently a deal is forthcoming. Too bad the rhetoric surrounding this debate isn’t. First some background. Back in 2007 the College Cost Reduction and Access Act implemented a five-year, phased-in...
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A Brief History of the Case Against Obamacare »

How does Randy Barnett—the law professor and former criminal prosecutor credited with providing the intellectual and legal framework of the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act—expect to feel in the moments before the U.S. Supreme Court announces its decision? I will never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach every time...
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What Does It Say That I Could Post a TSA Outrage Every Day? »

If there weren’t any other issues to follow, I could find something egregious about TSA to post on virtually every day. Today’s outrage: a female TSA agent laughing after she spilled a man’s grandfather’s ashes on the floor of the airport. The TSA’s own website says human remains are to be opened under, “no...
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Individual Career Choices, Not Government Quotas, Should Define the Next 40 Years of Title IX »

This month Title IX turned 40. Part of the 1972 Education Amendments, Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in federally supported educational programs and activities. Sexual harassment and college athletics typically receive the most attention; however, Title IX covers several additional key areas, including higher education access. Today, the academic focus is shifting to the...
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