Ilya Somin

Contributor, The Volokh Conspiracy


Yale Law Professor William Eskridge - the leading academic defender of same-sex marriage - offers an originalist justification for striking down laws banning the practice.

  • Jan 23, 2015

President Obama’s call for a congressional resolution authorizing his war against ISIS is a step in the right direction. But much more needs to be done to reestablish the constitutional norm that the president cannot initiate war without congressional authorization.

  • Jan 20, 2015

Attorney General Holder’s new policy restricting asset forfeitures is a major step forward, but also has some unfortunate loopholes that may reduce its effectiveness.

  • Jan 17, 2015

A recent survey finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA.” This survey result is a particularly blatant example of the problem of widespread political and scientific ignorance.

  • Jan 17, 2015

The Supreme Court has decided to hear an important case on whether the seizure of large quantities of raisins by the government qualifies as a taking for which owners are entitled to compensation under the Fifth Amendment.

  • Jan 16, 2015

The same-sex marriage issue has returned to the Supreme Court, and the prospects look good for supporters of gay rights. If they do prevail, the Court will have to choose between several different possible rationales for that result - a choice that may have important implications for the future.

  • Jan 16, 2015

Boston should reject proposals to use eminent domain to build a stadium for its bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

  • Jan 9, 2015

My father’s memoir of our recent encounter with the fascinating 1000 year old Jewish community of Kaifeng, China.

  • Jan 5, 2015

Eric Posner argues that opposition to Uber surge pricing is not based on ignorance or irrationality. But his argument only works for the relatively few opponents who also advocate price controls for a wide range of other goods.

  • Jan 2, 2015

Public ignorance may be responsible for much of the widespread opposition to Uber’s “surge pricing.“

  • Dec 31, 2014
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Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and the study of popular political participation and its implications for constitutional democracy. He is the author of The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain" (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), "Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter" (Stanford University Press, 2013), and coauthor of "A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Somin has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the University of Hamburg, Germany, and the University of Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before joining the faculty at George Mason, Somin was the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at Northwestern University Law School in 2002-2003. In 2001-2002, he clerked for the Hon. Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Professor Somin earned his B.A., Summa Cum Laude, at Amherst College, M.A. in Political Science from Harvard University, and J.D. from Yale Law School.
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