Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Great Moments in Law and Economics

With the growing importance of economic reasoning at top law schools, perhaps the future will bring fewer exchanges like this one between Justice Stevens and law professor Randy Barnett from the oral arguments of the Raich case at the Supreme Court yesterday:
Stevens: What is your view on the effect [of allowing medical marijuana users to grow their own drugs for personal use] on the interstate market [for marijuana]? Increase prices, no effect on prices, or decrease in prices?

Barnett: Can I choose trivial reduction of price?

Stevens: If you reduce demand, then you will reduce prices? Wouldn't it increase prices?

Barnett: No, if you reduce demand, you reduce price.

Stevens: Are you sure?

Barnett: Yes.

(From Lawrence Solum's detailed account of oral arguments, which is very interesting. Also see this piece by Slate's Dahlia Lathwick. And Barnett himself will likely be blogging on the case soon at the Volokh Conspiracy.)


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