Ganesh Sitaraman Profile picture
Jul 29, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read Read on X
With the #BigTechHearing getting underway, a couple thoughts about what it means to #breakupbigtech and some prebuttals on a couple counter-arguments. 1/7
1st, proponents of breaking up big tech are focused on unwinding mergers and separating tech platforms from commercial activity that works across the platform. My take on how to do it. 2/7…
There is a long tradition of separation along these lines in American regulatory practice, as @linamkhan has shown. 3/7…
And, as @ksabeelrahman has argued, it is possible to apply public utility-style regulations to platforms. 4/7…
2nd, we’re might hear how economic competition with China is a reason not to apply antitrust principles. But be wary of this argument. There’s a national security case for breaking up big tech too. 5/7…
3rd, enforcing antitrust doesn’t need to mean less R&D and innovation in AI. We could, e.g., have more public investment. 6/7…
Finally, if you’re looking for a good overview of the history of antitrust, read @superwuster’s terrific book, The Curse of Bigness. 7/7…

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More from @GaneshSitaraman

Oct 26, 2020
If, for whatever reason, you find yourself thinking about reforming the Supreme Court today…here is my series outlining the options and their pros and cons.


Class 1: Court expansion:
Read 8 tweets
Oct 7, 2020
SUPREME COURT REFORM 101: Class 8, The BIG reveal – I said at the start that the goal of this series was to help answer the question, what is the best Supreme Court reform? And we’ve now discussed a bunch of proposals. 1/
We’ve looked at pros/cons/constitutionality of court expansion, term limits, the balanced bench, the lottery court, supermajority requirements, jurisdiction stripping & legislative overrides. Whew! 2/
As you’ve noticed, these reforms aim to solve different problems and achieve different goals: power for D’s, regularize appointments, make appointments less important, ensure partisan balance, expand diversity of judges, rebalance power toward Congress. 3/
Read 8 tweets
Oct 6, 2020
SUPREME COURT REFORM 101: Class 7, Congress Strikes Back. Let’s talk about legislative overrides. “How can the legislature override the Court,” you ask? After all, we think the job of a Supreme Court is to “say what the law is!” 1/
But it’s possible. In Canada, the legislature can re-enact a law after it gets struck down & it’ll go into effect “notwithstanding” the Court decision. We don’t have a provision like that in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean Congress can’t sometimes review the Courts. 1/
Many Scotus cases interpret statutes. Congress can always rewrite a statute, even after Scotus interprets one. One thing we could do is pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Court. @TheAtlantic 3/…
Read 8 tweets
Oct 5, 2020
SUPREME COURT REFORM 101: Day 6, jurisdiction stripping. Most recently pushed forward by @samuelmoyn @rddoerfler 1/…
Idea is that Congress can bar the Court from hearing cases on certain laws. This would prevent Court from striking down fed statutes 2/
Biggest pro for this reform, say advocates, is that it’s pro-democracy. Why should Courts make so many decisions? If you want to change policy, win elections and fight to get them through Congress. Don’t run to unelected judges. 3/
Read 10 tweets
Oct 2, 2020
SUPREME COURT REFORM 101: Class 5, supermajority voting requirements. The idea is that Congress could say that for Scotus to strike down a fed law, there needs to be 6, 7, or 8 votes out of 9, not just majority rule. 1/
Pros: shifts power from Court to political branches. If 7-2 decision to strike statute, then must be *really* clear it was unconstitutional. If 5-4, then fight your battle through normal politics. @samuelmoyn @rddoerfler 2/…
Goal for advocates isn’t ideology so much as de-centering Scotus from policy decisions. Many things are highly contested & there’s “reasonable doubt” on unconstitutionality. They should be addressed via ordinary politics, not by unelected judges. 3/
Read 9 tweets
Oct 1, 2020
SUPREME COURT REFORM 101: Class 4, Should Scotus feel the Bern?? The lottery or panel approach, mentioned by @BernieSanders during the campaign last year. @Robillard 1/…
The basics: all judges on the fed. courts of appeals would be appointed assoc. justices. The 180+ Supreme Court would hear cases in panels of 9, randomly picked. They’d go to DC for 2 weeks of oral arguments, then write decisions from home. Cc @danepps 2/…
To prevent legal swings/uncertainty from panel composition, there’d be a supermajority requirement to overturn federal statutes, and no more than 5 on any panel could have been appointed by a president of a single party. 3/
Read 12 tweets

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