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The New Brandeis Movement: America’s Antimonopoly Debate

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As the name suggests, the ""New Brandeis"" school traces its intellectual roots to Justice Louis Brandeis, who served on the Supreme Court between 1916 and 1939. Brandeis was a strong proponent of America’s Madisonian traditions— which aim at a democratic distribution of power and opportunity in the political economy. Early in the twentieth century, Brandeis successfully updated America’s antimonopoly regime, along Madisonian lines, for the industrial era, and his philosophy held sway well into the 1970s. As the ‘New Brandeis School’ gains prominence—even prompting two floor speeches by Senator Orrin Hatch (a Republican from Utah)—it’s worth understanding what this vision of antimonopoly does and does not represent. This essay sketches out some of the core tenets of this school.

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