Preface

By Gilpatrick, Breanne | Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Preface


Gilpatrick, Breanne, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy


In the last few years, America's economy has faced a global financial crisis and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The federal government responded with sweeping interventions, including an $800-billion stimulus package, major bailouts of banks and automobile manufacturers, a financial regulations overhaul and a comprehensive healthcare reform package. These actions sparked countless debates about the proper role of government and the bounds of its constitutional authority, debates now headed to the Supreme Court. This issue includes fifteen Essays from scholars who discussed these topics at the Thirtieth Annual Federalist Society National Student Symposium.

Like the financial crisis, September 11, 2001, reshaped how we think of our own security, view the role of government, and live our everyday lives. Ten years ago the Journal invited scholars to examine the role of law in the War on Terror. To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of September 11, we asked two of those authors to reassess the legal landscape of national security. Professor Eric Posner addresses criticisms of the idea that Congress, the courts, and others should defer to the executive in national security emergencies. Professor Frederick Hitz analyzes the successes and failures of U.S. intelligence since September 11.

As Americans address the current crises, Professor Michael McConnell suggests it might help to ask one simple question: What would Hamilton do? In his Essay, adapted from a lecture last spring, Professor McConnell takes a renewed look at Alexander Hamilton's life and constitutional vision. He then considers how Hamilton's ideas can help us think about the nation's financial and geopolitical difficulties.

We also are pleased to publish two Articles on important and timely legal topics. Mr. Timothy Sandefur defends one of the most widely debated doctrines in constitutional law and perhaps the most hotly contested in conservative legal circles: substantive due process. And Professor John Kang contends that America's culture of antiauthoritarian political discourse provides an adjudicative principle for resolving complex First Amendment issues. …

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