Professor of law at Boston University
Randy Barnett

Randy Evan Barnett (born 5 February 1952, in Chicago) is an American lawyer, law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and legal theorist. He writes about the libertarian theory of law and contract theory, constitutional law and jurisprudence.


Cato Institute, Senior Fellow

Web Sites
Includes biography, lists as well as text of many of Spooner's writings and correspondence, scholarly articles about Spooner and links to other resources
Related Topic: Lysander Spooner

Web Pages

Randy E. Barnett - Online Library of Liberty
Includes short profile and link to a "Liberty Matters" (an online discussion forum) event led by Barnett
"Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and is Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution."


Randy E. Barnett, Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law


A Bogus Libertarian Defense of War, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Oct 2007
Examines Randy Barnett's Wall Street Journal article "Libertarians and the War" and a follow-up at the Volokh Conspiracy blog
"Barnett's ahistorical and rationalistic 'libertarian' defense of war turns out to be nothing of the kind. This is reinforced by the fact that he neglects the libertarian insight that war fortifies everything libertarians abhor: taxes, debt, jobbery, and violations of civil liberties such as privacy."
Related Topics: Murray Rothbard, War
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, by Murray Rothbard, Cato Journal, 1982
Examines the principles of tort law, how to determine what is just property and how to deal with invasions of property such as air pollution
"Barnett points out, first, that most unsuccessful attempts at invasion result nevertheless in 'successful' though lesser invasion of person or property ... 'For example, attempted murder is usually an aggravated assault and battery, attempted armed robbery is usually an assault, attempted car theft or burglary is usually a trespass.'"
On the Origins of the Modern Libertarian Legal Movement [PDF], by Roger Pilon, Chapman Law Review, 2013
Historical survey of libertarian influences on constitutional and other areas of law, from the mid-1970s to recent decisions
"Thus a young Harvard Law student, Randy Barnett, himself a philosophy undergraduate major at Northwestern, was exploring the criminal law side of things with a conference he organized on the subject and an important essay on restitution that followed in 1977 in Ethics, published by the University of Chicago. ... At a second ABA convention showcase program, this one in 1991 celebrating the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights, Randy Barnett and I addressed both of those issues—both the powers and the rights issues—in speeches we gave on 'The Forgotten Ninth and Tenth Amendments.'"


Keeping Libertarians Inside the Tent: Alienation avoidance, National Review Online, 22 Nov 2002
Responds to New York Times 16 Nov 2002 op-ed by John Miller complaining that Libertarians are "Democratic Party operatives" by offering suggestions that would make the Republican candidates more appealing to libertarian voters
"What would it take to attract more libertarian votes to the Republicans without alienating other members of the Republican coalition or moderate swing voters? ... a few suggestions ... Oppose intrusions into privacy ... Oppose intrusions upon the Bill of Rights ... Nominate more libertarian-conservative judges ... Care about federalism in the Congress ... Care more about the free market ... Back off Prohibition ..."
Kennedy's Libertarian Revolution: Lawrence's reach, National Review Online, 10 Jul 2003
Comments on the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas invalidating sodomy laws and in particular on Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion
"Contrary to what has been reported repeatedly in the press, the Court in Lawrence did not protect a 'right of privacy.' Rather, it protected 'liberty' — and without showing that the particular liberty in question is somehow 'fundamental.' ... Liberty, not privacy, pervades this opinion like none other, beginning with the very first paragraph ... Liberty is — and has always been — the properly defined exercise of freedom that does not violate the rights of others."
Spooner, Lysander (1808-1881), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"Lysander Spooner was a political and legal theorist, a writer, and an abolitionist. Born in rural New England, he was raised as one of nine children and left home to live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where, in 1833, he began studying law. ... After writing about how the banking system should be reformed to avoid the kind of speculative collapse he had experienced, Spooner struck out in an entirely new direction. In 1844, he founded the American Letter Mail Company to contest the U.S. Post Office’s monopoly on the delivery of first class mail. ... It was after this dispiriting experience that Spooner turned his attention to the issue of slavery."

Books Authored

Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty, 2003
The Rights Retained by the People: The History and Meaning of the Ninth Amendment, 1989
The Rights Retained by the People: The Ninth Amendment and Constitutional Interpretation, Volume II, 1993
The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law, 1998
Online excerpts provided by Prof. Barnett at Boston University web site
Related Topic: Rule of Law

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Randy Barnett" as of 16 Apr 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.