Last fall's decision on the national health care mandate has revived the debate on what limits--if any--the Constitution should place on federal power. Other cases before the Supreme Court in its last term have forced the Court to make controversial decisions on issues including separation of powers and religious liberties The 2012 Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention: "The Future of U.S. Constitutional Law in the Supreme Court" asked scholars to grapple with some of these issues. As always, we are pleased to bring you several Essays adapted from the Convention.
As part of a panel titled Federalism and Federal Power, Professors Randy E. Barnett, Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Heather K. Gerken, Neal K. Katyal, and Robert G. Natelson discussed the Supreme Court's federalism jurisprudence following its decision on the Affordable Care Act. Their adapted remarks on the future of federalism--and its possible discontents--are presented in this issue of the Journal.
The Convention's Annual Rosenkranz Debate addressed one of the most storied debates in constitutional legal thought: whether natural law should inform constitutional law. Leading natural law theorist Hadley Arkes and Chief Judge for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Alex Kozinski debated whether the state of nature purportedly endowing us with natural rights ever existed, how our concept of natural rights has historically influenced constitutional jurisprudence, and the proper course of action if and when the ideas underlying natural rights clash with the substantive provisions of the Constitution. Both of them graciously agreed to adapt their remarks for the Journal.
We also bring you Articles on four timely and intriguing legal issues. First, Professor Steven G. Calabresi and Ms. Larissa C. Leibowitz give an overview of the history of monopolies in England, discuss the effort by some of the Framers to include an antimonopoly clause in the Constitution, and explore how antimonopoly ideas were reflected in the Supreme Court's early Contract Clause jurisprudence as well as in state constitutions. Next, Ms. Kathleen Hunker explores and compares the history and current state of campaign finance reform in the United States and United Kingdom. In a very topical and timely Article, recent Harvard Law graduates William C. Marra and Sonia K. McNeil discuss the current state of the debate regarding autonomous drones and how policymakers can better understand how to regulate the next generation of fully autonomous drones, in which humans are completely out of "the loop." Finally, Professor Hal S. Scott and Ms. Leslie N. Silverman propose a novel alternative to stockholder class actions disputes and flesh out the details for their inventive scheme of stockholder adoption of mandatory individual arbitration in stockholder disputes.
In my last moments as the Journal's Editor-in-Chief, I can say without a doubt that my work for the Journal has been the most rewarding part of my law school experience. …