Neil Buchanan is nationally and internationally known for his groundbreaking work on intergenerational justice, retirement security, constitutional issues in government budgeting, and a fundamental critique of orthodox economic theory. In recent years, Neil has also become engaged with the question of whether the U.S. political system can survive as a functioning constitutional democracy. Neil is a regular contributor to Justia's Verdict and Dorf on Law.
Areas of Expertise (10)
Justice Between Generations
Limits of Economic Analysis
Threats to Democracy
Rule of Law
Media Appearances (2)
How to prevent the legal strategy that nearly undid the last election from ending democracy
Boston Globe online
At the Jan. 6 rally preceding the assault on the Capitol, Rudolph Giuliani called for “trial by combat.” The next speaker was John Eastman. He praised Giuliani’s remarks and then made fantastic claims of voter fraud, including that “secret folders” of ballots were deployed to deny Donald Trump reelection.
If Manchin means what he says, he should vote for the Democrats' Spending Plan
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has not been shy lately. On everything from the filibuster to voting rights, Manchin has taken very public stands in opposition to the overwhelming majority of his party. Most recently, he called on Democrats to “pause” their push for a bill that would spend a total of $3.5 trillion on public investments. He is not against it in principle, he says, but he worries that it is being rushed. Hence the call merely to pause.
The Tale of Two Formalisms: How Law and Economics Mirrors Originalism and TextualismCornell Law Review
Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C. Dorf
Two leading schools of thought among U.S. conservative legal elites—Law and Economics (L&E) and Originalism and Textualism (O&T)—both purport to use their formalist structures to guide analysis in ways that are objective, substantially determinate, and apolitical. Because they rest on very different theoretical underpinnings, L&E and O&T should only randomly reach similar policy or legal conclusions. After all, L&E implements neoclassical economics, a theory of utility maximization, whereas O&T is a theory of semantics. Yet as practiced, L&E and O&T rarely result in conflict. What explains the missing intra-conservative clash?
Social Security is Fair to All Generations: Demystifying the Trust Fund, Solvency, and the Promise to Younger AmericansSSRN
Neil H. Buchanan
The Social Security system has come under attack for having illegitimately transferred wealth from younger generations to the Baby Boom generation. This claim is incorrect, because it fails to understand how the system was altered in order to force the Baby Boomers to finance their own benefits in retirement. Any challenges that Social Security now faces are not caused by the pay-as-you-go structure of the system but because of Baby Boomers’ other policy errors, especially the emergence of extreme economic inequality since 1980. Attempting to fix the wrong problem all but guarantees a solution that will make matters worse.