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Desperately Seeking CertaintyThe Misguided Quest for Constitutional Foundations$
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Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226238081

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226238104.001.0001

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Richard Epstein and the Incredible Shrinking Government

Richard Epstein and the Incredible Shrinking Government

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter 4 Richard Epstein and the Incredible Shrinking Government
Source:
Desperately Seeking Certainty
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226238104.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the Reagan platform which was constitutionally mandated as studied by Richard Epstein, a brilliant libertarian scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. He argued that most government regulations violate the Constitution's Takings Clause and its companion, the Contracts Clause. Epstein talked about a striking governmental, especially federal, power that is illustrated in his book using as an example employment discrimination. Although Epstein argues that special limits apply to the federal government, he believes the powers of all levels of government should be sharply limited. According to Epstein, most existing regulations are beyond the power of any level of government because they are unconstitutional takings of private property. He also recognizes that people have relied in important ways on current law.

Keywords:   Reagan platform, Richard Epstein, Contracts Clause, federal power, federal government

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