IJ Argues Two Key Economic Liberty Cases
The quest to restore economic liberty as a fundamental civil right is a core mission of the Institute for Justice. The road to that goal runs inevitably through the 14th Amendment’s “privileges or immunities” clause, but it is blocked by one of the most pernicious decisions in the history of American jurisprudence: the 1873 Slaughter-House Cases, which read the clause and its vital protection of the right to earn an honest living out of the Constitution.
IJ deploys a variety of constitutional tools in our fight for economic liberty. We use the equal protection and due process clauses to protect citizens against excessive regulations of their own state governments, and we invoke the commerce clause and the privileges and immunities clause of the original Constitution to challenge parochial state trade barriers. Ultimately, we will succeed only when the U.S. Supreme Court consigns Slaughter-House to its well-deserved grave.
This year, the Slaughter-House Cases celebrate their 129th anniversary. With luck, they won’t be around to celebrate their 135th.
Last month, IJ co-founders Chip Mellor and Clint Bolick each argued a key economic liberty case. Below are accounts of their experiences.
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Sweet Fruit of the Commerce ClauseBurying The Casket Cartel