Happy Birthday Lysander Spooner! And a vintage Josh 1L column on why the Post Office really grinds my gears.

January 19th, 2010

Thanks to Randy Barnett at Volokh Conspiracy for the reminder.

Today is Lysander Spooner’s birthday. Born in 1808, Spooner was a lawyer, abolitionist, entrepreneur, prolific writer and eventually an individualist anarchist. Political science professor and Spooner scholar Helen Knowles offers her birthday tribute on her new blog, Irresistible Clearness, which is named after a passage from United States v. Fisher by Chief Justice John Marshall that Spooner promoted as a vital principle of constitutional construction and that became a staple in the arsenal of abolitionist constitutionalism:

Spooner is most prominently known for forming a competitor to the United States Post Office, by delivering the mail faster and cheaper than the government monopoly. Unsurprisingly, the government shut him down. Today, the government maintains a monopoly on first class mail (expedited delivery services are exempt).

Last night while chatting with a friend about how I loathe the United State’s Postal Service’s s monopoly, a governmental evil Spooner also despised, I was reminded of a column I wrote way back when I was a 1L at George Mason. This is some vintage stuff.

Please excuse my utter lack of knowledge about antitrust law, and some glaring writing and grammar errors. Though my passion remains. After mailing out nearly 1,000 clerkship applications, my seething hatred for the Post Office has only increased.