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Building Pro-Monopoly Judges
Declan McCullagh, still displaying a reluctance to debate with
graciousness (below), now wonders if I've heard of the Federalist Society.
"PS: I wonder if Mueller knows about the Federalist Society, which is a
group of libertarian-leaning lawyers and law professors. Among other things,
they make a point of educating judges about (gasp!) economic theory and this
concept of a government strictly limited in its powers..."
I've been reporting on this propaganda mill for roughly 2 decades--
and have published hundreds of pages on it. (See my January post on the
Charles Mueller, Editor
ANTITRUST LAW & ECONOMICS REVIEW
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Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 16:18:08 -0500
From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Why I Support Microsoft
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim recently posted an essay about Microsoft that made some good points.
Let me forward a recent post from a Naderite mailing list (headers attached
if you want to subscribe) where the discussion is all about how to persuade
the Feds to step in and squash Bill Gates.
I'd call the scheme proposed by Charles Mueller a "blueprint for
bureaucratic tyranny," but that might be taking him too seriously. Some
>Every consumer has the right to buy at a competitive
>price--minimum cost plus a competitive profit--and
>sustained pricing at a higher-than-competitive level shall
>be prima facie evidence of monopoly. In no case, however,
>shall the Antimonopoly Authority be required to prove such
>supracompetitive pricing, either currently or in the past...
>The second most frequent barrier to an effective
>antimonopoly policy-- after the national judiciary--is
>The Antimonopoly Authority shall consist of the Director
>and such staff attorneys and the like as required to fully
>implement this Antimonopoly Bill of Rights. He may
>commence an action either on his own initiative or upon the
>complaint of a Citizen or a business enterprise. If after
>an investigation he believes corrective action is required,
>he will issue a formal statement of charges...
Mueller also wonders below, "how does one get rid of" federal judges?
Charles Mueller, meet Jim Bell...
PS: I wonder if Mueller knows about the Federalist Society, which is a
group of libertarian-leaning lawyers and law professors. Among other
things, they make a point of educating judges about (gasp!) economic theory
and this concept of a government strictly limited in its powers...
>Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 19:04:50 -0500 (EST)
>From: email@example.com (cmueller)
>To: Multiple recipients of list <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: GMU's "Law & Economics Center"
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
> Perhaps I can add some information on the "Law & Economics Center"
>at George Mason. My journal first reported on its teach-in with the federal
>judges in 1981 (Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 70-71) and the following year I
>physically visited the University of Miami campus (where it was then housed)
>and did extensive interviews with several of the Center's people. Those
>interviews, plus another interview series I did at Emory University in
>Atlanta when the Center moved there, and finally at George Mason itself
>after the 3rd move, fill a number of my issues, beginning with Vol. 14, No.
>2 (1982). I've also reported on a couple of the legal challenges
>(unsuccessful) to the Center's indoctrination of the federal judges.
> For example, U.S. District Judge Spencer Williams presided over a
>predatory pricing case against ITT Continental Baking (Wonder Bread) some
>years back. The day after the jury began its deliberations, Judge Williams
>left San Francisco to begin attendance at a 2-week "economics" seminar
>presented by the Law & Economics Center at the Royal Biscayne Hotel in
>Miami. While he was gone, his jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in
>the amount of $5 million which, under the law, he was bound to triple to $15
>million. Instead, he returned from Florida, overturned the jury's verdict,
>and wrote a letter to Henry Manne in Miami that read in part as follows:
>"As a result of my better understanding of the concept of marginal cost, I
>have recently set aside a $15 million antitrust verdict. I will send you a
>copy of the memorandum [opinion] as soon as it is prepared." (See my
>journal, Vol. 17, No. 2 (1985), p. 13.)
> Nan Aron and her colleagues at the Alliance for Justice in
>Washington published a monograph on the subject--Justice for Sale In
>America--in 1993 and I reprinted the key chapters in my journal, beginning
>with Vol. 24, No. 3 (1993). For earlier background, see Fortune, May 21,
>1979; Washington Post, January 20, 1980; and The Nation, January 26, 1980.
> Put simply, this "Center" is a right-wing propaganda mill
>masquerading as a purveyor of academic "economics." The "teachers" have
>been Harold Demsetz and others from the University of Chicago and its major
>academic outposts (paid at an hourly rate commensurate with the up to $600
>per hour commanded by George Stigler and the others as antitrust "experts"
>in court). No opposing economists have ever been allowed to appear before
>the judges. When I asked the Center's people why they didn't permit
>distinguished non-Chicago economists to share the podium at these judicial
>teach-ins, they laughed and said, "Let them go start their OWN seminars for
> I asked to be allowed to just sit in as an OBSERVER with the judges
>and/or the 200 antitrust law professors (who have been run through a similar
>indoctrination program) and Henry Manne himself responded to my request (by
>telephone), No, "We keep it all in the family." (Manne, who had been a law
>professor at the University of Rochester, founded the "Center" in 1974 at
>the University of Miami, then moved it to Emory and finally to George Mason.
>A federal judge--Judge Hoffman, as I recall--helped him get the approval of
>the judiciary's executive body in Washington, headed by the Chief Justice of
>the Supreme Court. The money to finance these sessions at luxury resorts
>(mostly at Key Biscayne and other Florida beach towns) was originally gotten
>directly from Fortune 500 companies who had experienced the sting of
>antitrust prosecution; in response to some criticism of that obvious
>conflict of interest, Manne, with some creative accounting, arranged it so
>that the seminars for the judges themselves--in 1981, the cost was $5,000
>per judge per 2-week seminar--were thereafter paid for exclusively by the
>corporate foundations, e.g., Schaife, Olin, etc., rather than by active
>firms that frequently appear before the judges as antitrust defendants.
>With this accounting twist, the judiciary gave its full blessing to the
> I also did an interview with a federal appeals judge in Washington
>(DC Circuit). He saw nothing wrong with Manne's program, even assuming it
>was pure propaganda designed specifically to bias the federal judiciary
>against the antitrust laws and in favor of corporate monopoly. Why? (1)
>First, he said, judges are, by the nature of their work, "immune" to
>propaganda of all kinds. They hear so much argument on so many sides of
>every issue that it's simply impossible to "bias" them via argument. (2)
>Second, he told me, federal judges have every RIGHT to be as intellectually
>"biased" as they like and to DEVELOP those intellectual biases with the help
>of WHOEVER they please.
> For example, he said, suppose I go to the beach for a weekend with 3
>volumes of Karl Marx's writings in my briefcase. I find Marx so persuasive
>that I come back to my chambers on Monday, throw away an opinion I had just
>written on one of the cases before me, and proceed to write a new one
>decision to the opposite party. Karl Marx "biased" me to change my
>decision. He had every right to do it--and I had every right to LET him do it.
> George Mason University law school and its economics department
>aren't scholarly enterprises at all; they're hired propagandists, awash in
>corporate money awarded precisely for the purpose of making a contrived
>"economic" case for laissez-faire monopoly. They get away with it for one
>reason and one reason only: Manne's operation had the approval of Reagan's
>Justice Department (rember Ed Meese?) and now it has the blessing of
>Clinton's. All it would take to bring it to a halt would be a couple of
>speeches by, say, the Attorney General and, if necessary, by Clinton
>himself. If Justice treated it as the outrage that it plainly is, the
>press--and the ensuing public condemnation--would purge the judiciary of
>this 20-year scandal within a matter of weeks.
> Charles Mueller, Editor
> ANTITRUST LAW & ECONOMICS REVIEW