Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Thanks to How Appealing, I learned last week of Bernard Siegen's death. Siegen was an emeritus professor at the University San Diego. His obituary in the LA Times is here, which has a little more about him as a person than the one in the New York Times. Both are great reading. Here's a taste of the LA Times editorial:
"This was an unlikely firebrand," said Richard A. Epstein, a University of Chicago law professor. "What made Bernie such an important figure was that his legal instincts were very good."
Siegan's strongly held conviction — that economic freedoms deserved the same protections as the freedoms of speech, religion and the press — went "very much against conventional wisdom in the 1970s," said Maimon Schwarzschild, a fellow law professor at the University of San Diego.
It also made Siegan, a Libertarian, one of the key legal and constitutional thinkers in the movement of ideas that became the Reagan Revolution, according to Schwarzschild. . . .
A 1980 book by Siegan, "Economic Liberties and the Constitution," was "the opening salvo" in the revival of the property-rights movement, said Epstein . . . .
David Bernstein has posted about Professor Siegen's impact over at Volokh; the obituary in the National Review On-Line is similar. Propertyprof readers may be familiar with his Economic Liberties and the Constitution (University of Chicago, 1980). I'm most familiar with Property Rights: From Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment (Transaction 2001). You may also remember that he was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals by President Reagan.
Alfred L. Brophy
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