Richard Epstein fans know that, when it comes to legal analysis, all roads lead to Rome. For years we’ve been ribbing Richard about his propensity to analyze current legal disputes through the prism of Roman law. Now we’ve finally buckled to the pressure and given him an entire episode on the topic. In this show, Richard explains why Roman Law remains relevant today; why it made especially valuable contributions on the topic of water law; how a failure to understand Roman law has weakened Supreme Court decisions; and what the connection is between the Romans and the Anglo-American legal tradition.
A growing number of Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. In this episode, Richard Epstein explains what drove the Founders to construct this complex system for picking presidents; warns of the practical dangers of relying purely on the popular vote; looks at how Maine and Nebraska have constructed variations on the winner-take-all system; and explains why the inability to pass constitutional amendments is a feature rather than a bug in the current political environment.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempts to get Brexit across the finish line, many MPs are complaining that he’s violating constitutional norms. In this episode, Richard Epstein considers those criticisms; weighs the cases for and against a departure from the EU; explains how the European Union overshot the legitimate goals of continental integration; and describes how Britain’s “unwritten constitution,” far from being an English aberration, actually has echoes in the American system.