Countering the Neoliberal Structural Constitution

Countering the Neoliberal Structural Constitution

This post is part of our symposium on socialist constitutionalism. The Federalist Society leverages right-wing legal change by promoting constitutional originalism as a seemingly noble and neutral foundation for neoliberal political economy.  Without a comparably accessible and compelling contrary first principle, left and centrist law and politics can appear to be a diffuse agenda of contested…

Last Week’s Surprisingly Deep Victory for LGBT Workers

Last Week’s Surprisingly Deep Victory for LGBT Workers

This post was originally published at Jacobin. Last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The decision brings employment law in line with public opinion: a majority of Americans favor employment protections for LGBT…

The Relevance of Weimar

The Relevance of Weimar

This post is part of our symposium on socialist constitutionalism. Willy Forbath’s return to the Weimar Constitution is inspiring. I will just point out of a couple of limits to turning back to it in the present — limits that strike me as difficult to overcome. First, the Weimar Constitution’s nod to worker empowerment presupposed…

Progressive Democracy and Legislative Form

Progressive Democracy and Legislative Form

Adrian Vermeule recently made a stir with his proposal for a “common-good constitutionalism.” He argued that originalism had “outlived its utility” now that the right had gained power on the federal bench. Instead it was time for a “substantively conservative approach to constitutional law and interpretation.” We got only a few peaks at the substance,…

The Constitutional Role of Economic Coordination Rights

The Constitutional Role of Economic Coordination Rights

There’s a common notion that pervades legal and policy debate—including among fairly liberal Democrats—that collective bargaining mechanisms, and even public coordination of markets through minimum wages and working conditions, distort market outcomes and are therefore inefficient (though they may be justified by countervailing considerations). This position immediately sets up a kind of presumption against labor…

A Law and Political Economy Agenda for Labor and the Constitution

A Law and Political Economy Agenda for Labor and the Constitution

This post is part of our series on the political economy of labor & the constitution. You can find all of our posts on this topic here. At the end of September, labor law scholars gathered at a conference focused on “Labor and the Constitution: Past, Present, and Future.”  There, a group of us considered…

A Political Economy the Constitution Requires

A Political Economy the Constitution Requires

Join us this week for a series on the political economy of labor & the constitution.  “Political economy” has an antique ring. More than a century ago, the field of “political economy” began to give way to what was called “economics.” By the mid-twentieth century, political economy was forgotten; economics ruled the roost. But what…

In Defense of Grassroots-Powered Progressive Federalism

In Defense of Grassroots-Powered Progressive Federalism

This piece is part of a collection on “progressive federalism,” which addresses the conditions under which American federalism advances and hinders the interests of democratic political movements. Other contributions can be found here. If you are interested in participating in the discussion, join us on Twitter at @lpeblog. Over fifty years ago, Frances Fox Piven…

Federalism is unlikely to save progressive politics

Federalism is unlikely to save progressive politics

This piece is part of a collection on “progressive federalism,” which addresses the conditions under which American federalism advances and hinders the interests of democratic political movements. Other contributions can be found here. If you are interested in participating in the discussion, join us on Twitter at @lpeblog. Can federalism work for progressives? Since the…

Movement Visions for a Renewed Left Legalism

Movement Visions for a Renewed Left Legalism

In this moment of crisis for the rule of law, a number of thinkers on the left have prescribed new strategies for progressives to shift reigning ideas about constitutionalism and the law. Jedediah Purdy, for example, has argued that part of the answer is to “reclaim the Constitution” by articulating visions of how constitutional rules…

The Constitution and Democratic Insurgency

The Constitution and Democratic Insurgency

One of today’s most urgent questions is how to combine an analysis of capitalism with an analysis of democracy.  The rolling socio-economic crises of the last decade, highlighted by the global financial meltdown, have laid bare the extent to which American society is marked by fundamental and irreconcilable conflicts between those enjoying economic power and…

Three Views of Constitutional Political Economy

Three Views of Constitutional Political Economy

Constitutional Political Economy – What Is It Good For? – On the Labor Scene, Part III of III To recap, what constitutional political economy is good for on the labor scene is three-fold: as a movement discourse that provides moral and political legitimacy to acts of civil disobedience and law-breaking – and lends reform-minded publics…

Janus in Appalachia

Janus in Appalachia

Constitutional Political Economy – What Is It Good For? – On the Labor Scene, Part II of III Unlike the workers’ organizations in Kate’s study, just about everything the striking teachers did in West Virginia and Kentucky fell outside the bounds of legality – the strikes themselves, the efforts to “bargain” over not only teachers’…

The Labor Movement Never Forgets?

The Labor Movement Never Forgets?

Constitutional Political Economy – What Is It Good For? – On the Labor Scene, Part I of III Is it really a good idea for liberals and the left to be making constitutional arguments against economic inequality? Give it a rest! Take a break from constitutionalizing everything.  And don’t talk about “taking the Constitution away…