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Can Constitutionalism Be Leftist?:

No, says Georgetown law prof Mike Seidman, in this interesting (and brief, as law professor writings go) paper.

Pon Raul (mail):
I like Mike Seidman and he is correct that Tushnet's book is a failure. Actually, I think that Tushnet's theory to constitutionalism as it applies to the commerse clause, etc. is similar to Yoo's theory of constitutionalism as it applies to Executive power. That is how I know that both Yoo and Tushnet are wrong.

Anyways, I can't take Mike Seidman seriously because he doesn't even have a basic understanding of the arguments against socialism. As of 2004, he didn't even have a clue what Atlas Shrugged was about.
3.12.2008 12:15pm
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
Pon,

I find it hard to take that criticism of Mike Seidman seriously. I've never known him not to have a firm grasp of the issues.

I'm curious what your evidence is.

I enjoyed his paper here, though it is too lenient on Tushnet's book.
3.12.2008 12:26pm
Pon Raul (mail):
Scott,

Maybe I should revise that. Seidman has exposure to arguments on both sides of most issues, but I don't think that he truely understands the arguments against his socialist positions (unlike say Peller).
3.12.2008 12:53pm
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):
I take it I'm debating another Section 3 Alum.

So with utmost sympathy, I ask again what your evidence is. If it's just some things Seidman said in lecture you don't recall, that's fine.
3.12.2008 1:01pm
Pon Raul (mail):
Private conversations with Seidman with blank looks and off point comments from Seidman. It might just be that I just can't make coherent arguments.

I do think that Seidman is a great and smart guy, but he just dismisses arguments against his positions without really addressing them. He has a format for disimissing arguments without really addressing them. That is why I don't think that he truely understands the arguments. Either that, or he is being dishonest. But I don't think he is dishonest, so I don't think that he really understands the arguments.

Hell Scott, I sat behind you in a few classes. I didn't have apples tossed at me. Anyways, please don't out me.
3.12.2008 1:38pm
Scott Scheule (mail) (www):

Anyways, please don't out me.


You got it. Please return the favor.
3.12.2008 3:42pm
Tom R (mail):
As to the substance of Seidman's argument, he raises some very thought-provoking points. One is the debate over procedural reforms vs substantive policies. As LMS says, why push for campaign-spending limitations to get a more left-wing Congress elected if you can only get such limitations enacted if you've got a left-wing Congress in the first place?

Similarly, it's argued by many Hayekians that, if and because you can't implement socialist/ welfare-state liberal policies if all laws have to be strictly neutral in wording, therefore socialism/ welfare-state liberalism is illegitimate. However, I know socialists/ welfare-state liberals who would respond by saying "Well, Hayek is wrong. Having facially-neutral statutes is not a fundamental requirement of a just society."

(I'm not sure why a socialist/welfare-state liberal couldn't simply advocate a law that said, say, "Sec 1: Every adult citizen shall pay 60% of her income in tax on each December 1. Sec 2: Every adult citizen shall receive a grant of $20,000 from the public fisc on every June 1." This may be unwise economic policy, or even unjust generally, but even if it doesn't satisfy the Randian, the Nozickian, the Misean or the Friedmanite, I can't see why it shouldn't satisfy the Hayekean.
3.14.2008 11:52pm