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Panel Discussion: Is Economic Protectionism a Legitimate State Interest?

March 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 10:45 am MST

Conference Panel Two: Is Economic Protectionism a Legitimate State Interest?

Hosted by the Federalist Society, Yaron Brook joins the stage with fellow panelist Prof. Todd Zywicki (Antonin Scalia Law School), Prof. Paul Bender (ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law), Prof. Roderick Hills (NYU School of Law) and moderator Judge Edith H. Jones (5th Circuit) to discuss Economic Protectionism.

Is Economic Protectionism a Legitimate State Interest?

The Tenth Circuit held in Powers v. Harris that “intra-state economic protectionism, absent a violation of a specific federal statutory or constitutional provision, is a legitimate state interest.” The Second Circuit agrees. In contrast, the Fifth and Sixth Circuits have struck down laws aimed at protecting local economic actors as unjustified by state police power. Does a state violate the Equal Protection Clause when it restricts economic liberty for the sole purpose of economic protectionism? For example, is the Equal Protection Clause violated when a state doesn’t make an activity or ownership of a certain type of property per se illegal, but the state employs economic “checkpoints” to significantly discourage the activity or specified property ownership (i.e., guns, pornography, etc.).

This panel will also explore the impact of cronyism on emerging technologies and federalism. For example, had Uber and Lyft not been so successful in expeditiously building themselves up before being taken seriously by regulators and traditional industry competitors (i.e., taxi companies), the taxi companies likely could have, and would have, lobbied to pass legislation and create regulations making ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft illegal, or so cost prohibitive as to preclude the ridesharing industry from ever being financially viable.

This event requires registration and fee. See the host website for ticket details.


Federalist Society National Symposium


Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
111 E Taylor Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004 United States
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