January 1, 2012

Economic Uncertainty, The Courts, and The Rule of Law

  • Todd Zywicki

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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Read the entire article at www.harvard-jlpp.com.

Should judges protect private property rights and constitutional rights as vigilantly in times of crisis as in ordinary times? Conventional wisdom holds that crises justify suspending the rule of law and allow government discretion to address the crises. The lesson of past economic crises as well as the most recent crisis, however, is that we should uphold the rule of law with special rigor in times of economic crisis because the temptations for politicians to misuse their powers during times of crisis are especially great. During crises, judges must be particularly vigilant in protecting private property and constitutional structure.