I’m pleased to report that the very deserving inaugural holder of the newly created George Gibbs Chair in Political Economy at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center is my intrepid colleague Veronique de Rugy . Congrats, Vero!!
In United States v. Lopez, Thomas wrote a concurrence that was the most interesting judicial explication of the Commerce Clause in more than half a century. He reconsidered the “substantial effects on interstate commerce” test because it was inconsistent with the original meaning of the Commerce Clause. First, Thomas showed that the modern test used a meaning of “commerce” that encompassed all economic activity, whereas the meaning of “commerce” at the time of the Framing was limited to trading and exchange, as distinct from other productive activities such as manufacturing and farming. Second, Thomas observed that permitting Congress to regulate all activities “affecting” interstate commerce deprives many of the other clauses in Article I, sec. 8 of independent force. Why give Congress particular authority to regulate bankruptcy, since insolvency self-evidently affects economic activity among the states?
No justice has ever announced his jurisprudential stance more quickly or forcefully than Justice Thomas.
As my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy often does, Scott Winship rightly criticizes Democrats for using the pandemic as an excuse to institutionalize their long-term spending goals .
The annual cost of the promises to which President Obama signed on under the Paris climate agreement would have hit  roughly $50 billion in 2030, or about $140 per person. Many studies show Americans are willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars a year to remedy climate change, but this data is highly skewed by a small minority willing to spend thousands of dollars. A recent Washington Post survey found that a majority of Americans  would vote against a $24 annual climate tax on their electricity bills. Even if they’d hand over $140, it’d buy them little. If Mr. Obama’s agreement were sustained through 2100, it would reduce global temperatures by a minuscule 0.06 degree Fahrenheit.