• Is Net Neutrality Good Policy?
    Articles,  Blog

    Is Net Neutrality Good Policy?

    In early 2015, the FCC decided three things in its net neutrality order: 1) Cable and phone companies can’t block any websites 2) They can’t discriminate against some websites, and third, no paid prioritization, or what the average person would call fast lanes on the internet. If you look at how the internet and America operates previous to these net neutrality regulations, there was no digital dystopia. We didn’t see cases of ISP’s engaging in any competitive conduct such as blocking lawful content from being delivered over the internet. And if there were evidence of systemic failure, I would be the first one as an FCC official, to stand up…

  • What is Bitcoin?
    Articles,  Blog

    What is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin was originally proposed in a white paper written by an anonymous person or persons named Satoshi Nakamoto. The protocol of the actual software was released in 2009 and that’s when the bitcoins were first minted. Bitcoin is issued by a decentralized network. There are a series of protocols just like there are for email that tell computers how to interact with each other. It’s a program that runs like any other, and the network spits out a certain amount of bitcoin every ten minutes. So, in the beginning days it was 50 bitcoin were created every 10 minutes. Currently it’s 12.5 that are created every 10 minutes. Currently in…

  • Commercial Space Flights & the FAA
    Articles,  Blog

    Commercial Space Flights & the FAA

    Moon Express is trying to win the Google Lunar X Prize and it’s trying to win that by sending a probe to the Moon that will roll around for a couple of weeks and explore looking for rare minerals and things that they can bring back to Earth for a profit someday. Most commercial space activity is about launching things into orbit, mostly communication satellites and things like that. There have been a few other missions being considered to explore asteroids and comets, but this is the first commercial mission to land on the Moon. Moon Express needs government permission because every space launch requires government permission. Under the Outer…

  • Are Religious Healthcare Systems “Churches”?
    Articles,  Blog

    Are Religious Healthcare Systems “Churches”?

    The three cases that we’re talking about are the “Advocate Case” from the Seventh Circuit, the “St. Peters Case” from the Third Circuit, and the “Dignity Case” from the Ninth Circuit. All of these cases involve large healthcare systems, religious health care systems that have been sued over their pension plans. The main issue in this case is, up until now, churches only have to put aside a certain amount of money to cover their future pension obligations to their employees, but the plaintiffs in these cases think that they should be setting aside hundreds of millions of dollars more money into their pension plans. So the question before the…

  • Immigration Restrictions & the Constitution [FedSoc 5]
    Articles,  Blog

    Immigration Restrictions & the Constitution [FedSoc 5]

    I’m John Eastman, I’m the Henry Salvatori professor of law and community service at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. Ilya Somin, a professor at a George Mason University, and I debated the issues about immigration at the Federalist Society’s Student Symposium. My position on borders is very simple. There should be open borders, which means as a general rule, no restrictions on people’s freedom of movement, based simply on where they happened to be born. My take on this is that every sovereign nation has the power to decide who it’s going to admit into body of politic, inside it’s borders and then continuing on to who will make…

  • Impeachment is broken. Impeach Trump, anyway.
    Articles,  Blog

    Impeachment is broken. Impeach Trump, anyway.

    In 1788, three founding fathers made the case for the US constitution in a series of essays called “The Federalist Papers”. And if you want to understand why impeachment is broken today, it’s worth starting there. With what they thought it would look like if it worked. In Federalist 65, Alexander Hamilton makes the case for the way the Framers designed the impeachment power. The House brings impeachment, but it’s the Senate that decides whether to convict and remove. Not the Supreme Court, or some other independent tribunal. A bunch of politicians. Why? Why give them that power? Here’s the argument Hamilton makes: Impeachment, he says, poses a special problem.…

  • The Clean Power Plan: The EPA & Climate Change Policy
    Articles,  Blog

    The Clean Power Plan: The EPA & Climate Change Policy

    President Obama issued an executive order containing a climate action plan that directed EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that produce electricity. The Clean Power Plan was the culmination of that executive action. It was a regulation promulgated under EPA’s authority to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that would be combusted for power in favor of renewable sources. Traditionally, most electricity in the United States was made through combusting coal or natural gas and power plants. The Clean Power Plan required a significant reduction in the amount of energy that could be generated in that way. It’s not really a pollution control program, it is an…

  • Privacy & Freedom of the Press
    Articles,  Blog

    Privacy & Freedom of the Press

    Welcome, all of you to Columbia Law School for the 2017 Federalist Society National Student Symposium. It is an honor, truly an honor, looking out at this room and seeing, wow, from what I can understand more than 600 people registered for this important convening, and it’s truly an honor for Columbia to be able to host it for the first time since 2006. So we welcome you all here, you are our honored guests. I’m particularly pleased to welcome our distinguished panelists this evening and presenters, especially members of the Federal Judiciary who are here and will be helping to moderate discussions over the next two days. And I…

  • Articles

    Confident Pluralism: Living in a Deeply Diverse Society

    In our country’s history and in our best moments, we have protected the ability of different groups to pursue different ways of life. We would not have had suffrage, we would not have had abolition, we would not have had civil rights without the groups that preceded those efforts, the groups of people who met in private spaces and sometimes for purely social means to craft agendas, to form friendships, and to pursue solidarity. Confident pluralism is a response to the recognition that we live in a deeply divisive and diverse society where our differences are not going to be overcome. So, it’s a challenge and a question of how…

  • Alexander Hamilton on Judicial Independence
    Articles,  Blog

    Alexander Hamilton on Judicial Independence

    The story behind Hamilton’s writing of the Federalist Papers is just amazing. He was a practicing lawyer at the time. He’d spend all day at the office, litigating cases, defending clients, and he’d come home and dash off a couple of Federalist Papers. Federalist 78 was Alexander Hamilton’s famous defense that proposed a federal judiciary. His argument was that it would be the branch that was least dangerous to the rights of the people. He was responding to the argument made by a critic of the federal judiciary who wrote under the pen name Brutus. Brutus argued, “they have made the judges independent in the fullest sense of the word.…