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.

Blog

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.

Forum

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.

Podcast

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 January 18, 2019

The Left’s Anti-Semitism Problem: A History

Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington hold disreputable views, but the marchers don’t seem to care.

Law & Liberty January 18, 2019

Why Bill Barr is Trump’s Best Appointment

No cabinet official can get a President in more trouble faster than his Attorney General, and Trump has made the right choice with Bill Barr.

Law & Liberty January 18, 2019

American Polarization and Extremism Are Just a Return to Normalcy

For better or for worse, the increasing political polarization and extremism we see today is no more than a reversion to the American norm.

Law & Liberty January 17, 2019

On Obamacare, Is Common Sense Really Judicial Activism?

Ironically, it was efforts to save the ACA that produced Judge O'Connor's conclusion that Obamacare could not stand.

Law & Liberty January 16, 2019

Bureaucracy, Regulation, and the Unmanly Contempt for the Constitution

John Marini unmasks the century-long effort to undermine the Constitution's distribution of power.

Law & Liberty January 16, 2019

In Finance, the Blind Spots Will Always Be With You

There are no financial philosopher-kings and there can never be any, in central banks or anywhere else.

Law & Liberty January 16, 2019

Bloody Religion Versus Bloody Secularism

If we ask what was the greater source of violence in the 20th century, secularism has to trump religion every time.

Law & Liberty January 16, 2019

The Unbearable Lightness of Free Trade

We need to keep the true justifications for free trade in mind as we assess NAFTA.

Law & Liberty January 15, 2019

Dickinson, “Penman of the Revolution,” on Freedom of the Press

John Dickinson had a more expansive view of the right of free expression than his contemporary, the English legal authority William Blackstone.

Law & Liberty January 15, 2019

Private Unemployment Insurance: Government Failure or Market Failure?

While people assume private unemployment insurance was not practical, it was government prohibitions that blocked it from being sold prior to the New Deal.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

Liberty Law Talk January 16, 2019

Bureaucracy, Regulation, and the Unmanly Contempt for the Constitution

John Marini unmasks the century-long effort to undermine the Constitution's distribution of power.

Liberty Law Talk January 2, 2019

Beautiful Losers in American Politics: A Conversation with Nicole Mellow

Nicole Mellow on the beautiful losers in American politics who have redefined the country.

Liberty Law Talk December 17, 2018

American Heresies and the Betrayal of the National Interest: A Conversation with Walter McDougall

Walter McDougall discusses how America's civil religion has shaped our foreign policy.

Liberty Law Talk December 3, 2018

The Sacred Rites of Humanity: A Conversation with Daniel Mahoney

Daniel Mahoney discusses his new book The Idol of Our Age and how humanitarianism corrupts politics and religion.

Liberty Law Talk November 15, 2018

The John Marshall Legacy: A Conversation with Richard Brookhiser

Richard Brookhiser discusses the life and jurisprudence of John Marshall.

Liberty Law Talk November 2, 2018

Andrew Jackson in Context: A Conversation with Bradley Birzer

Once considered one of our most consequential presidents, Andrew Jackson's reputation has now fallen on hard times.

Liberty Law Talk October 17, 2018

Hamilton, Madison, and American Oligarchy: A Conversation with Jay Cost

Jay Cost, author of The Price of Greatness, discusses the political and economic debates between Hamilton and Madison.

Liberty Law Talk October 3, 2018

Knowledge, Risk, and the Surprised Banker: A Conversation with Alex Pollock

Alex Pollock discusses the philosophy of finance and why the quant guys keep getting it wrong.

Liberty Law Talk September 18, 2018

Getting Right with Nationalism: A Conversation with Yoram Hazony

Yoram Hazony discusses why nationalism produces a politics of freedom, prosperity, and peace.

Liberty Law Talk September 4, 2018

The Peronist Pope Francis: A Conversation with Daniel Mahoney

Daniel Mahoney discusses Pope Francis's approach to the papacy and world politics.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Forum.

Liberty Law 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 Law 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 Law 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 Law 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 Law 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.

Liberty Law Forum July 2, 2018

Desire or Dominance?: Sexual Harassment’s Legal Maze

The discrimination approach doesn’t give us adequate tools for managing real differences between the sexes.

Liberty Law Forum June 1, 2018

Between a Mirage and a Mistake: Correcting American Grand Strategy

We should keep in mind our interests and our allies. Doing so brings home to us the paradox of strategic thinking: to secure peace, prepare for war.

Liberty Law Forum May 1, 2018

France’s Psychodrama of 1968

Those who loathe and those who celebrate May 1968 agree it was a defining moment for Western democracy in its late modern form.

Liberty Law Forum April 2, 2018

The Legal Turn

We argue that the U.S. Constitution was written in the language of the law, and that treating it as a legal document strengthens originalism.

Liberty Law Forum March 1, 2018

Can Libertarianism Be a Governing Philosophy?

Any policy change that lessens government control over private action is desirable; libertarians are crucial to any intellectual push in that direction.

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