The following is co-written by Gabriel Latner, a legal associate at the Cato Institute.
Ilya Shapiro | All Articles
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Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was Special Assistant/Advisor to the Multi-National Force-Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs LLP and Cleary Gottlieb LLP.
Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the L.A. Times, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, Roll Call, National Review Online, and from 2004 to 2007 wrote the "Dispatches from Purple America" column for TCS Daily.com. He also regularly provides commentary on a host of legal and political issues for various TV and radio outlets, including Fox News, CBS, WGN, Voice of America, and American Public Media's "Marketplace."
He is also an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School and lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society, The Fund for American Studies, and other educational and professional groups. Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, while living in Mississippi and traveling around the Deep South. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow). Shapiro is a native speaker of English and Russian, is fluent in Spanish and French, and is proficient in Italian and Portuguese.
As we head into a potential government shutdown over the funding of Obamacare, the iconoclastic junior senator from Texas — love him or hate him — continues to stride across the national stage. With his presidential aspirations as big as everything in his home state, by now many know what has never been a secret: Ted Cruz was born in Canada.
As a legal immigrant, I could be expected to object the loudest to the immigration reforms now circulating on Capitol Hill. After all, I navigated the bureaucratic morass — I finally got my green card four years ago after living in the country on temporary visas for 14 years — so why shouldn’t everyone? Why should we “amnesty” people who didn’t play by the rules I painstakingly followed?
It’s not clear whether the Supreme Court’s recent decision to review two gay marriage-related cases heralds the beginning of the end of the national debate on this issue, the end of the beginning, or something completely different. That’s because the possible rulings that we expect in June range from requiring all states to recognize gay marriage to no merits opinion but plenty of new rules about who gets to appear in court.
Four months have passed since Chief Justice John Roberts made Obamacare’s individual mandate a tax and thereby let stand one of the two laws most responsible for our sluggish economy (the other being the Dodd-Frank financial “reform”). I was in the courtroom that fateful June day and my emotions quickly cycled through shock, denial, anger, and later depression — why had I dedicated myself to the law when the most important case of my lifetime turned out in this illegitimate way? — before settling into the “bargaining” stage of grieving.
Reporter’s Notebook: Obamacare’s second day at the court features brilliant advocacy, cautious optimism
Tuesday’s Supreme Court oral arguments, which focused on the individual health insurance mandate, began with pomp and ended with circumstantial evidence that the individual mandate is in constitutional jeopardy.
On an argument day that can best be described as the calm before the storm, the Supreme Court gave every indication that it would indeed have to decide the constitutionality of Obamacare’s centerpiece, the individual mandate.
One of the biggest political changes that 2011 brought — in large part due to the tea parties and their effect on the 2010 election — is the centrality of the Constitution to our public discourse. Lawmakers and citizens no longer consider simply whether a given bill or policy proposal is a good idea but whether it is constitutional. “Where does the government get the power to do that?” is often critics’ rallying cry.
Two years ago, the Supreme Court decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. But the Second Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, only applies to the federal government, so yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago. McDonald will determine whether the vast majority of Americans who live in the states share the same gun rights as District residents.
The last few days of the Olympics passed by in a blur as I finished a three-week business trip that ended up taking me to four climates and nine different overnight locations, all without checking bags. And my gallivanting around the West paralleled the North American tour de force that the games became.
ALBUQUERQUE—Having left Vancouver for a long weekend in the Bay Area, I now arrived in the frozen desert. It was 38°F when I landed, and the temperature dropped below freezing overnight. Never mind that I was now over 1,000 miles south of the Winter Games; I had returned to winter for the first time since leaving D.C. on the last flight out of Dulles before the airport shut down two weeks ago.
VANCOUVER—On my last day in Vancouver, I didn’t end up attending any sporting events—preferring to save my money for sushi and souvenirs. Instead I walked around bits of the city I hadn’t previously covered, such as the bridge over False Creek by the Olympic Village (whose high rises are bedecked by various national flags, as well as Australia’s trademark-skirting boxing kangaroo).
VANCOUVER—Yesterday I went downtown to the Robson Square Celebration Site (Is that like Berkeley’s free-speech zone such that you can’t celebrate anywhere else?) to see if I could pick up a hockey ticket. I love using scalpers: no waiting in line at the official box office, no Ticketmaster “service” charge, nothing but negotiating price mano-a-mano. I’m not sure how legal it is here—government does try to stamp out economic intercourse between consenting adults—but dozens of them are out in the open wearing laminated signs, so I assume they’re at least tolerated. Good for Vancouver: Scalpers make the ticket marketplace go round, ensuring efficient pricing and distribution.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ilya Shapiro is currently on the ground in Vancouver and will be sending dispatches throughout the Olympic Games, posted here at The Daily Caller
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ilya Shapiro is currently on the ground in Vancouver and will be sending dispatches throughout the Olympic Games, posted here at The Daily Caller.