1. Matthew Hale, a law school graduate, was denied a license to practice law in Illinois because Hale was an avowed racist and the leader of a white supremacist group. A state panel assessed the character and general fitness of all those who had passed the bar exam and graduated from law school and decided that Hale’s active racism disqualified him. Illinois is one of 32 states with character and fitness standards. Hale appealed on First Amendment grounds, among others. Should Hale be excluded from the practice of law, or should we let the market decide his fitness? Explain.
2. City officials in Machesney Park, Illinois required nine- year-old Gregory Webb to tear down his makeshift tree house on the grounds that it was a nuisance. Webb had built the structure from lawn chairs, leftover carpet, and a pet carrier, among other objects. The city was criticized for its decision.
a. Why would a city choose to exercise its police power over nuisances in this seemingly trivial case?
b. What would you do if you were the city planning and zoning director and thus responsible for the situation?
3. Notwithstanding the successful deregulation efforts in recent decades, the larger trend in the United States over the past 50 years, and particularly since the financial crisis of recent years, has been increased government regulation of business. How do you explain that trend?
4. As a safety measure, Arizona enacted a statute that limited the length of passenger trains to 14 cars and freight trains to 70 cars. Trains of those lengths and greater were common throughout the United States. The Southern Pacific Railroad challenged the Arizona statute.
a. What was the legal foundation of the Southern Pacific claim?
b. Decide the case. Explain.
5. At this writing in 2013, a Florida state senate committee has passed new rules for parasailing, a largely unregulated commercial recreational activity. The new rules, if fully approved, would require insurance for operators, an onboard observer, and allow operation only when winds do not exceed 20 miles per hour.
In 2012, a Connecticut woman dropped from her harness to her death while parasailing near Pompano Beach, Florida. Such deaths are unusual with several dozen having been estimated worldwide in the past 30 years, but Florida has seen four in the past two years.
a. How would you argue that parasailing deaths often constitute a market failure?
b. Would you vote for a parasailing rule, or would you leave parasailing safety to the market? Explain.

  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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