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The Courts and Liberal Democracy

According to Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams, a society can be expected to evolve into liberal democracy, including private property and the rule of law, only if producer groups can organize and exert enough influence to prevent government predation. But groups strong enough to resist government predation are likely to be strong enough to mobilize government for predation against others. The resultant rent-seeking society may hollow out liberal democracy to a barely recognizable shell. Could courts at all offset this tendency, either by a tilt against rent-seeking in review of agency decisions, or by a revival of the rule against “partial legislation?”

Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Moderator

Hudson Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Economics of the Internet

Stephen Williams Featured Speaker

Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

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