Today’s Links: July 12, 2012


RANDY BARNETT: “Amend the Commerce Clause
“In last week’s decision upholding the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court accepted our contention that the commerce and necessary-and-proper clauses impose real limits on the power of Congress and that the individual insurance mandate, as drafted, exceeded those limits. […] But our challenge never attempted to undo any of the post-New Deal Supreme Court precedents that have allowed Congress to exercise powers well beyond the original meaning of the commerce clause.”

JULIAN MORRIS: “The Economics of America’s Crony Society
“The problem of crony capitalism comes in a wide variety of policies that benefit specific individuals, firms and industries at the expense of everyone else. From occupational licensing laws to corporate tax breaks, and from federal flood insurance to ethanol mandates, capital is being misallocated due to state and federal policies. As a result, innovation, economic growth and employment are being undermined. However, legislation being considered in the House this week offers an opportunity to signal the commitment of Congress to counter this cronyism.

MERCURY NEWS EDITORIAL: “California High-Speed Rail is High-Spending Folly
“California’s high-speed rail project has left the station, and we’re taking bets on how far it goes. The smart money is on: Not very. While the plan’s origins go back more than a decade, high-speed rail has become Gov. Jerry Brown’s would-be legacy. But if all we end up with is some really spiffy railroad track in the Central Valley, which is the best bet at this point, it may become Jerry Brown’s folly — especially as people see tens of millions of dollars each year coming out of the state general fund to pay interest on the $4.5 billion in bonds the Legislature authorized last week.”


TECH – House Quietly Reintroduces a Piece of SOPA
“Even after millions rallied against the passage of SOPA/PIPA, the House is still quietly trying to pass a related bill that would give the entertainment industry more permanent, government-funded spokespeople. The Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on Lamar Smith’s IP Attaché Act (PDF), a bill that increases intellectual property policing around the world.”

CUBA – Miami Cargo Ship Heads to Havana After 50-Year Hiatus
“For the first time in fifty years, a cargo ship left Miami directly for Cuba Wednesday, carrying a load of humanitarian supplies, officials said.”

LEGAL – Judge Steps Away From Facebook Privacy Lawsuit
“A judge recused herself from overseeing a privacy lawsuit against Facebook over the social networking service’s “Sponsored Stories” feature, one day before she was set to hold a hearing on a proposed settlement.”