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The right to earn a living; economic freedom and the law.


The right to earn a living; economic freedom and the law.

Sandefur, Timothy.

Cato Institute


376 pages




Sandefur, an attorney for the economic liberty project at the Pacific Legal Foundation and a scholar at the Cato Institute, describes the local, state, and federal government interference with citizens' economic freedom, and their rights to own a business and earn a living, such as when the government did not allow a pastor to sell discounted caskets because he lacked a full funeral director's license. He describes cases (including those he participated in) that demonstrate the issues relating to these rights, beginning with the common-law tradition of legal protections for economic liberty in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He then explains how terms like monopoly and corporation evolved and negatively influence the right to earn a living; the Constitution's contracts clause, which protects this right but is largely ignored; the theory of substantive due process and the case of Lochner v. New York; the rational basis test incorporated by the New Deal Supreme Court; how the government abuses its powers to protect favored businesses against competition; the dormant commerce clause; the free speech rights of business owners; and the impact of tort theories and courts, regulatory takings, and the future of rights. Some parts of the book have been adapted from articles originally published in law journals.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2010
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