Author

Timothy Snowball

Timothy Snowball has 10 articles published.

Timothy Snowball
Timothy Snowball is a third year Juris Doctor candidate at The George Washington University Law School who is interested in constitutional law, history, and government. Tim holds degrees in political science from the University of California Berkeley and Grossmont College in San Diego.
News

Market Lessons For United Airlines

As widely covered by the media, United Airlines finds itself in a bit of a public relations pickle. Last Sunday, after having overbooked a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, and being contractually obligated to transport members of another crew to man a flight out of Louisville, the crew first asked for volunteers to fly out the next day from the already boarded passengers. When no one volunteered, the crew first offered hotel and monetary accommodations in the amount of $400. When the passengers till refused, the crew offered $800, only to finally announce that a computer would randomly select four passengers to be selected to disembark. After having been selected by the computer, and refusing to give up his seat, Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from the plane by members of the Chicago police. Though contractually empowered to ask a passenger to leave a flight in just such a situation, given the details surrounding the incident, including Dao’s resulting injuries and its being widely shared on social… Keep Reading

Politics

In Defense Of Neil Gorsuch

No one ever said that going through the Supreme Court nomination process is easy. Central to the Senate’s constitutionally mandated role to provide “advice and consent” to the president, is the rigorous questioning of the nominee by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a subsequent vote of the entire chamber. However, there is a difference between legitimate questions concerning a potential justice’s ability to fairly and impartially decide cases, and attempting to besmirch a nominee’s character. This offense is especially egregious when the basis for such criticism is a decision exemplifying judicial restraint and deference to the role of Congress in our tripartite federal system. The specific criticism of Judge Gorsuch came at the hands of former comedian, radio talk show host, and current Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken. The case upon which Franken question Gorsuch was TransAm Trucking, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States Department of Labor. If one took Franken at his word, Judge Gorsuch is some kind of heartless textualist automaton. “I understand the reasoning behind… Keep Reading

Politics

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Trump?

We are approximately eighty days into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and the American Republic still stands. The United States has yet to start World War III, the plan to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border remains a pipe dream, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights are still intact. While many of President Trump’s actions as president have been controversial, some of the worst attempted abuses of the new administration’s power have been prevented by coordinate branches of the federal government. The very constitutional system of checks and balances decried by many on the Left (and some on the Right) as the anachronistic relic of a bygone era designed to impede progress, has worked to prevent the abuse of the power of the federal government, just as the Framers designed and intended over two hundred years ago. Keep Reading

Law/News

War Powers Debate: John Yoo Vs. Jonathan Turley

On March 29, 2017, the George Washington University Law School’s branch of the Federalist Society hosted a debate between Professor John Yoo of Berkeley Law and Professor Jonathan Turley of GW Law. The topic of the debate was the delegation of war powers under the United States Constitution. Yoo is best known for the now infamous memo he wrote as a member of the Justice Department in the early 2000s that argued in favor of the authority of the executive to use “advanced interrogation techniques” on enemy combatants. Turley is best known as a civil libertarian who has represented members of Congress in lawsuits attempting to stymie the power of the executive branch. As some Yoo protestors chanted outside, and others dressed as orange jump-suited and hooded detainees protested inside, the two prominent lawyers began their discussion. While the debate ranged along the lines of history, politics, and the law, there were three primary subject areas along which the participants battled: textual delegation, structural design, and modern functionality. Yoo… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

On Libertarian Arrogance

Recently, I was privy to an exchange on social media that highlighted the intellectual and moral arrogance observed in many libertarians. Certain members of the Liberty Movement seem to be so sure of their superiority that they miss the authoritarian allure of a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Turning a blind eye (or turning up our noses) at those we disagree with will not help advance the ideas about individual rights, the rule of law, benefits of markets, or any of the other foundations upon which so many of us base our worldviews if not our careers. Rather than dismiss those arguments that we happen to disagree with by claiming some de facto intellectual, empirical, or moral superiority, we should instead be willing to engage with conservative and liberal arguments on their own terms. There is simply no better way to refute bad arguments, improve electoral opportunities, and gain adherents to ideas that have been indispensable in shaping the freedom and prosperity of the western world. Keep Reading

History/Politics

Democracy Is Dangerous

Winston Churchill once said: “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…” In line with this quote, for many in the United States democracy is held as the highest political ideal, Abraham Lincoln described a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Public history classes are replete with examples of the triumph of the progressives over the reactionary forces of the founding era. Checks and balances and other constitutional restrictions, carefully crafted, were (and are) seen as impediments to progress. Even today there are calls for the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of the direct democratic election of presidents. “Power to the people! Let the people decide! Rock the vote!” But the fact is that democracy can be very dangerous. The various myths surrounding democracy, that democratic elections legitimize political actions, that majority rule is desirable, and that politicians are selfless individuals, harm the… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Ideology Trumps Reality

If you were to ask the average American what they think is the most pressing problem facing the United States, the answers will vary. “We live in a patriarchal society. Women still make 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts! These republicans hate women!” “The world is a very dangerous place. National security should be first and foremost amongst our priorities! These democrats want to make us less safe!” “The average voter just doesn’t understand politics and economics. If they would just gain some basic knowledge, they would vote for better candidates! Neither party gets it!” In the era of “fake news,” the stakes for what counts as reality have perhaps never been higher. But while the holders of these various opinions are no doubt sincere in their beliefs, they miss a fact that is applicable to all of them: For human beings, ideologically informed perception can be more important than actual facts. Keep Reading

Law/Politics

There Is No “Hate Speech” Exception To The First Amendment

Anyone concerned with the future of free speech in the United States should be appalled by the recent events on the campus of U.C. Berkeley. A seemingly peaceful protest of controversial media personality Milo Yiannopoulos quickly turned violent as protesters broke barriers, threw rocks, and started fires in an attempt to prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking at a previously scheduled event. One 19-year-old protester was quoted as saying: “The whole reason we are here is for free speech. Milo’s hate speech is not allowed here. When it is hate speech, our free speech is to shut him down.” This protester, while passionate and undoubtedly sincere, is woefully wrong in her assessment of how free speech functions in a free society. There is no exception for “hate speech” under the First Amendment. Keep Reading

History/Law/Politics

The Privilege Of Protest

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, and even more so since the inauguration, certain individuals and groups have been in a state of panic. People have taken to the streets in protest.  Judging from the number and frequency of protests since President Trump’s inauguration, it would seem the very future of our republic, society, and most cherished rights are currently under constant threat. Yet, our lives and liberties have actually never been better. Material wealth, social progress, and peaceful conditions are necessary conditions of the privilege of protest. The privilege of protest requires material wealth. If you transported someone from the Middle Ages into the modern United States, they would probably think they had found a way to heaven itself. Gone are the days when a cut on your leg quickly resulted in disease and death. Gone are the days when traveling from one side of the continent to the other meant months or years of turmoil. Gone are the days when it was necessary to… Keep Reading

Politics

The New American Royalty

President John Adams once said that the United States was “a government of laws, not men.” The Founders understood that the only justification for the unavoidable disparities in wealth, talent, and position in society was the equal application of the law. This July, many conservatives and libertarians lamented the supposed death of the rule of law with the decision of the FBI not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton. The truth of the matter is that the rule of law has been under attack in this country for almost 50 years. The historical record is clear. When elites and their allies face legal consequences for malfeasance, their political or institutional associates protect them from punishment. If you are shocked by the FBI’s recent announcement, then you haven’t been paying attention. When Richard Nixon was impeached by the House of Representatives for his connection to the break-in of the Democratic National Committee office located in the Watergate complex, he quickly resigned from office. Was he guilty of high crimes and… Keep Reading

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