William Watkins Archive

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy, and Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Victory for Public Workers at SCOTUS



This decision limits the power of organized labor and gives greater freedom to individual workers.

Religious Liberty Wins at SCOTUS…Sort Of



This was the right result in this case, but the Court has done little to provide meaningful guidance as free exercise and free speech clash with public accommodation statutes making sexual orientation a protected classification.

SCOTUS Arbitration Decision



Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court (5-4) upheld the right of employers and employees to agree to submit disputes to one-on-one arbitration. The decision is NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. This is a great victory for the right of contract and opting out of the government courts in favor of private dispute resolving entities. I really…
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Sports Betting Decision and Federalism



Last week the Supreme Court struck down provisions of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) that prohibit state authorization and licensing of sports gambling schemes. SCOTUS held that this statute violates the Constitution’s anticommandeering rule. The New York Times sums up the import of the decision as follows: The decision seems certain to result in…
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What Gun Control Advocates Can Learn from London’s Knife Attacks



The powers in London are grappling with a rash of stabbings and wondering what to do. The statist instinct is to take knives from the people. That’s the American response to gun violence and the British response to knife attacks. Yesterday The Express ran a headline: “London bloodbath: 60th violent murder in London just yards…
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California Threatens Free Speech with AB-2943



Proposed legislation, AB-2943, making its way through the California legislature, is the latest example of why east coast folks see California as the land of fruit and nuts.

Spanish Central Government Threatens Catalonia



From the BBC: The prime minister of Spain has two requests for the leader of Catalonia. First: Clarify whether the region is, indeed, declaring independence from Spain. And second: If that is the case, take it back. Otherwise, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says, Spain will suspend Catalonia’s current autonomy, institute direct rule and possibly…
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Crisis in Catalonia Caused by Judiciary



After the violence unleashed at the polls by the Spanish national government, many in Europe are holding their collective breath waiting for Catalonia to declare independence. As we reflect on this crisis in Spain, we would do well to recall just who made all this trouble: the judiciary. The legislature of Catalonia and the…
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Response to Vegas Attacks Shows the Heart and Mind of the Left



In response to the senseless violence in Las Vegas, several on the Left have brazenly indicated what they truly think about middle America–folks that go to work, worship on Sundays, listen to country music, drive pick ups, and simply try to build an honest life with family. Hayley Geftman-Gold, one of CBS’s top lawyers,…
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Lincoln Smiles on Madrid’s Effort to Prevent Independence Vote



In Spain, the central government resorted to violence to stop the people of Catalonia from participating in a vote on independence. The violence from agents of the national government is distressing. According to The Telegraph: Video footage showed officers from Spain’s national police—4,000 of whom had been brought in by the government to help…
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