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Jacob H. Huebert

About Jacob H. Huebert

Jacob H. Huebert is an attorney with an appellate litigation practice, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law, where he teaches Advanced Appellate Advocacy, Jurisprudence, and Payments. He is also the author of a book, Libertarianism Today (Praeger, 2010), and he is an Adjunct Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Huebert earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Grove City College and his juris doctor at the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, he served as a clerk to Judge Deborah L. Cook on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He has written numerous articles for newspapers as well as scholarly and professional publications, and he has appeared numerous times on national television and radio to discuss consumer credit issues, legal issues, and libertarianism. Many of his articles and appearances are available at his website.
20 Dec, 2011

Book Review: Rehabilitating Lochner

Author |Books|0 Comments

In the Winter 2012 Independent Review, I review David Bernstein’s Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights Against Progressive Reform. Here’s how it starts:

Few Supreme Court cases receive more scorn in U.S. law schools than Lochner v. New York (198 U.S. 45), the 1905 decision that struck down a New York law […]

28 Nov, 2011

Reconsidering “Judicial Engagement”

Author |Constitutional Law|0 Comments

Several years ago, I wrote a review of The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom by Cato Institute chairman Robert A. Levy and Institute for Justice co-founder William Mellor.  As its subtitle suggests, the book criticizes twelve U.S. Supreme Court decisions that are especially offensive from a libertarian perspective, such as Wickard v. Filburn, Korematsu v. U.S., and Kelo v. City of New London.

Because I’m a libertarian myself, I agreed with most of their criticisms of the twelve decisions.

I had reservations, though, about their proposed remedy: “judicial engagement” on liberty’s behalf — that is, getting judges on board with (for example) the idea that Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause are much narrower than the Supreme Court has said they are since the New Deal era.  This struck me as naive.  Judges, after all, are part of the federal government, and the President and Congress both try to ensure that the people they put on the bench believe in maximum executive and legislative power.  Judges haven’t increased government power because libertarian lawyers didn’t put the right arguments in front of them; they’ve increased government power because that’s what they were put on the bench to do.

In a response to my review, Levy and Mellor claimed that I was “far too cynical” — which only cemented my view that, for self-described libertarians, these two gentlemen weren’t nearly cynical enough about the federal courts.  In fact, they seemed to have a faith in “good government” that is antithetical to libertarianism.

Lately, however, I’ve come to think that, whatever Levy and Mellor’s personal attitudes may be (it’s possible that I misread them), favoring “judicial engagement” for liberty does not require one to be naive about government and therefore is not contrary to the spirit of libertarianism.


24 Apr, 2011

The Libertarian Challenge to Intellectual Property Law

Author |Constitutional Law|1 Comment

Law professor Lawrence Lessig has famously challenged recent extensions of intellectual property law and defended the importance of a public-domain “cultural commons” through his books such as Free Culture.

Some libertarian theorists and economists have gone even further and proposed that we should abolish intellectual property, particularly copyrights and patents, entirely. I’ve summarized some of these […]

28 Mar, 2011

Who Owns the Sky?

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In the latest Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, I review UCLA law professor Stuart Banner’s book Who Owns the Sky? The Struggle to Control Airspace from the Wright Brothers On.

Banner’s book is outstanding because it presents the history of air law — particularly the struggle to determine who would have property rights in and sovereignty […]

15 Feb, 2011

Does the Constitution Require Same-Sex Marriage?

Author |Constitutional Law|0 Comments

Whether gay marriage is a good thing and whether the constitution requires it are two different questions. In this video from a recent Columbus Federalist Society debate, Volokh Conspirator Jonathan Adler, NRO "Bench Memos" blogger Ed Whelan, and Capital Law Prof. Mark Strasser debate the second question. (I moderate.)
17 Dec, 2010

Book Review: This Is Your Country on Drugs

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This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

By Ryan Grim • John Wiley & Sons, Inc. • 2009/2010 • $24.95 hardcover; $15.95 paperback • 272 pages

Americans really like to get high, and they’ll go out of their way to do so even when the government threatens to punish them.

That’s the theme that comes through strongest in Ryan Grim’s This Is Your Country On Drugs, a look at the relationship among Americans, the drugs they use, and their government.

The author, a relatively young man, isn’t shy about his own history of casually using and enjoying drugs, particularly hallucinogens. He discovered in the early 2000s that LSD was nowhere to be found—not only could he not find any for himself but statistics showed acid use was down in general. […]