Please join the Salem Center as we welcome Dr. Ilya Somin to discuss how broadening opportunities for foot voting can greatly enhance political liberty for millions of people around the world. People can vote with their feet through international migration, choosing where to live within a federal system, and by making decisions in the private sector. Somin addresses a variety of common objections to expanded migration rights, including claims that the “self-determination” of natives requires giving them the power to exclude migrants, and arguments that migration is likely to have harmful side effects, such as undermining political institutions, overburdening the welfare state, increasing crime and terrorism, and spreading undesirable cultural values. While these objections are usually directed at international migration, Somin shows how a consistent commitment to such theories would also justify severe restrictions on domestic freedom of movement.
Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, democratic theory, federalism, and migration rights. He is the author of Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2020, revised and expanded edition, 2021), Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, revised and expanded second edition, 2016), and The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain (University of Chicago Press, 2015, rev. paperback ed., 2016), coauthor of A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and co-editor of Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Democracy and Political Ignorance has been translated into Italian and Japanese.
Somin’s work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Critical Review, and others. Somin has also published articles in a variety of popular press outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, , CNN, The Atlantic, USA Today, US News and World Report, Newark Star Ledger, South China Morning Post, Legal Times, National Law Journal and Reason. He has been quoted or interviewed by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, The Economist, the Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, the Associated Press, CBS, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, Reuters, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Al Jazeera, and the Voice of America, among other media.
Somin’s writings have been cited in decisions by the United States Supreme Court, multiple state supreme courts and lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court of Israel. He has testified on the use of drones for targeted killing in the War on Terror before the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. In 2009, he testified on property rights issues at the United States Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Somin writes regularly for the popular Volokh Conspiracy law and politics blog, now affiliated with Reason magazine (previously affiliated with the Washington Post from 2014 to 2017). From 2006 to 2013, he served as Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review, one of the country’s top-rated law and economics journals.