Law & Liberty

Law & Liberty focuses on the content, status, and development of law in the context of republican and limited government and the ways in which liberty and law mutually reinforce each other.

Law & Liberty brings together serious debate, commentary, essays, blog posts, podcast episodes, book reviews, interviews, and educational material in a commitment to the first principles of law in a free society. The site considers a range of foundational and contemporary legal issues, legal philosophy, and pedagogy.


The blog features timely commentary by John McGinnis, Mike Rappaport, and James Rogers and a host of other contributors on constitutional, legal, and policy issues.


The forum is a platform for the discussion of the legal and philosophical principles that inform and govern a free government and a free people. Recognizing that there is no shortage of online venues for evaluating legal questions, the forum's distinction rests in its examination of the basic principles of a constitutional republican order and its focus on the elements of freedom that must exist in a society dedicated to liberty and responsibility. The forum aims to uncover the genesis of central legal ideas that produced our unique heritage of Western liberty but are now misunderstood due to ideological confusion.

Every month, the forum presents an essay on a major topic by a leading thinker. This first essay’s ideas will then be considered and tested by two other participants in each exchange. The ideas discussed and debated in this space are not the sole preserve of experts, however. The hope is that each topic, and the ideas animating and surrounding it, will emerge into full view for the reader, permitting a new and refined understanding of the ideas discussed. These ideas are open to all: They are the personal and collective wisdom of any society devoted to the noblest ideas of the Western legal and political philosophical tradition.


The podcast features interviews with leading academics and writers on new books, articles, and contemporary subjects.

Book Reviews

This section contains reviews of significant new books in law, history, policy, and politics.

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Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from Law & Liberty.

Law & Liberty June 24, 2019

Judicial Checks and Moral Hazard

We are settling into a lasting pattern of both parties in Congress assuming it is the courts’ job, not their own, to protect their institutional power.

Law & Liberty June 24, 2019

Policy Relevance and the Professoriate

Policy-makers must deal with the realities of coalition-building and pleasing one’s constituency, realities that academics may not fully grasp.

Law & Liberty June 21, 2019

Summer Reading Choices from L&L Writers

Vacation fun for bibliophiles.

Law & Liberty June 21, 2019

Universities: The Future of Policing?

Is Johns Hopkins University's creation of a private police force a harbinger that in America the future of policing isn't public?

Law & Liberty June 20, 2019

Skewering “the Pretense of Knowledge” in the Financial Realm

Alex Pollock punctures the mystique of the “experts”— including the Fed, “an independent governmental fiefdom of alleged Platonic economic guardians.”

Law & Liberty June 20, 2019

Transparency and the Law in France

Judges are likely to dislike data analytics, but that is no reason to oppose them.

Law & Liberty June 19, 2019

China’s Privileging of “Mr. Science” over “Mr. Democracy” 

Early in the life of the Chinese Communist Party, modernization had a democratic component—which dissidents remember but today’s CCP wants to forget.

Law & Liberty June 19, 2019

Brexplaining the UK’s Future

The Tories, the civil service, and Labour are tripping over each other and falling down separate flights of stairs while the nation watches in dismay.

Law & Liberty June 18, 2019

The European Union and the Fate of Nations

Unless elites propose to elect another people, as Bertold Brecht joked, they'll just have to stop calling it “far right.”

Law & Liberty June 18, 2019

Constitutional Text and State Sovereign Immunity

Many of the Supreme Court’s decisions as to state sovereign immunity are problematic, but there is an originalist basis for some of those decisions.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

Liberty Law Talk June 14, 2019

Borne Back to the American Founding: A Conversation with George Will

George Will discusses the meaning of the Conservative Sensibility in American politics.

Liberty Law Talk June 3, 2019

Dismantling the Leftist Academic Complex: A Conversation with Roger Scruton

Scruton's crime was to have attempted to take the New Left seriously, finding it severely wanting, if not absurd.

Liberty Law Talk May 16, 2019

Politics as War: A Conversation with David Davenport

David Davenport discusses how we lost "the cool, deliberate sense of the community" in making public policy and embraced the war metaphor.

Liberty Law Talk May 1, 2019

Why Higher Education Is a Cartel: A Conversation with Todd Zywicki

Todd Zywicki joins this episode to discuss the bad economics and perverse regulatory framework of higher education.

Liberty Law Talk April 15, 2019

Fear God. Honor the Emperor. A Conversation with Robert Louis Wilken

Robert Louis Wilken discusses his new book Liberty in the Things of God.

Liberty Law Talk April 1, 2019

The Economic Nationalism Agenda: A Conversation with Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy makes the case for a new conservative agenda rooted in an aggressive industrial policy.

Liberty Law Talk March 14, 2019

Decentralization and the Common Good: A Conversation with Andy Smarick

Andy Smarick discusses Hayek, subsidiarity, and the principles of authentic decentralization.

Liberty Law Talk March 1, 2019

Lord Liverpool & the British Tradition of Strategic Independence: A Conversation with William Anthony Hay

William Anthony Hay talks about Lord Liverpool's excellent statesmanship.

Liberty Law Talk February 14, 2019

Born-Again Paganism: A Conversation with Steven Smith

Steven Smith talks with Richard Reinsch about his provocative thesis that a modern form of paganism is becoming public orthodoxy.

Liberty Law Talk February 1, 2019

“Slouching Towards Mar-a-Lago:” A Conversation with Andrew Bacevich

Andrew Bacevich discusses his new book Twilight of the American Century

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

Liberty Forum June 3, 2019

China Since Tiananmen: Not a Dream but a Nightmare

The extinguishing of the democracy movement and the flowering of the economic miracle are closely linked.

Liberty Forum May 1, 2019

What Went Wrong (and Right) with Conservative Philanthropy

Effective nonprofit giving on the Right means searching for the best balance between ideas, policies, and patience.

Liberty Forum April 1, 2019

NATO at Three Score and Ten: An Anticipatory Elegy

Dues payments are the least of NATO’s worries. More importantly, now that it’s so big, how can it defend its far-flung borders against Russia?

Liberty Forum March 1, 2019

The Destructive Legacy of McCulloch v. Maryland

John Marshall’s famous opinion invited congressional overreach and gave inadequate weight to the powers of the states.

Liberty Forum February 1, 2019

Islam, Blasphemy, and the East-West Divide

What blasphemy laws tell us 30 years after “the fatwa,” and 40 years after the Iranian Revolution.

Liberty Forum January 2, 2019

Twenty-Five Years of NAFTA

A much-maligned trade pact that needed to be updated, NAFTA now faces an uncertain future.

Liberty Forum November 1, 2018

Administrative Law Is Bunk. We Need a Bundesverwaltungsgericht

Only a new Administrative Judiciary can tame the regulatory state and vindicate the rights of citizens when they get pushed around by a government agency.

Liberty Forum October 1, 2018

Reforming U.S. Environmental Policy

Start with two big obstacles to good policymaking on the environment: federal review under NEPA, and undue judicial deference to the executive branch.

Liberty Forum September 4, 2018

The Frivolous Valley and Its Dreadful Conformity

Silicon Valley, with soil so fertile that anything could grow there, now grows a hierarchy of techies seeking money, fame, power, sex, and adulation.

Liberty Forum August 1, 2018

Restoring Localism

Freeing localities from federal control appeals to the Left at the moment. Right and Left could make a strategic alliance to foment a decentralist rebellion.

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