(Here is the latest edition of the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit newsletter, written by John Ross.)

It’s one of the most vexed questions in originalist constitutional interpretation: What’s a judge to do when inquiry into original meaning doesn’t yield a clear answer? In their new paper, “The Letter and the Spirit: The Judicial Duty of Good-Faith Constitutional Construction,” Professor Randy Barnett and Assistant Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement Evan Bernick undertake to answer it. Download the first of a projected three-paper series (and projected book) on Good Faith Constitutionalismwhile it’s hot”!
Today, the Supreme Court considers whether a federal agent who shot and killed a teenager across the Mexican border gets qualified immunity. We discussed the Fifth Circuit’s en banc ruling on the podcast (starting at 5:10).
Charlestown, Ind. officials want to bulldoze Pleasant Ridge, a neighborhood of 350 homes, so a private developer can build upscale housing. To that end, officials blanketed the neighborhood with citations for trivial code violations like chipped paint and torn window screens. At $50 per violation, per day, the fines quickly ran into the thousands of dollars — in many cases before owners had even received notice in the mail. Officials offered to waive the fines, however, if property owners sold to the city’s preferred developer — for far below the tax-assessed value of their homes. Last week, Pleasant Ridge residents joined forces with IJ to put a stop to the city’s illegal plan. Read more here.
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