Media Mention

Ilya Somin: Repair and Extend the Rule of Law

September 8, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published in Reason, and was written by Checks & Balances member Ilya Somin. 

Like co-blogger Jonathan Adler, I was greatly impressed by Paul Rosenzweig and Vishnu Kannan’s recent article on “Repairing the Rule of Law: A Post-Trump Agenda.”I agree with nearly all of their proposals, with the possible exception of DC statehood. On the latter, I don’t have strong views either way, though I agree with Jonathan’s comment that it doesn’t really qualify as a rule of law issue. Jonathan is also right to emphasize that these reforms (and those Jonathan himself adds to the list) are worth pursuing regardless of who wins the November election. Most of them address issues that are not unique to Trump, even if his tenure in office has highlighted their importance.

I would add two other items to those proposed by Rosenzweig, Kannan, and Adler. Both are also issues that predate Trump and are likely to outlast him, even though his abuses of power have highlighted their importance:

  1. Eliminate virtually limitless delegations of power to the executive over trade and immigration—and possibly other areas.

As currently interpreted by the Supreme Court, the law gives the president the authority to impose almost any immigration or trade restrictions he wishes, for virtually any reason. That is both bad policy and deeply inimical to the rule of law. I discussed these issues in  greater detail with respect to immigration herehere, and here, and trade here.


Continue reading at Reason.