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 May 20, 2019

In Defense of the Supreme Court’s First Constitutional Law Decision

When the Constitution was written and ratified there was no free-floating principle of sovereign immunity, but now the Supreme Court has recognized one.

Law & Liberty May 20, 2019

John Locke and Political Hebraism

Locke published the Two Treatises as a moral justification of violent resistance against tyranny—and the Hebrew Bible was vital to this endeavor.

Law & Liberty May 20, 2019

McClay’s Master Work: A History for Citizens

Finally, a narrative account of the United States for students that comprehends the flaws, but also the greatness, of a self-governing nation.

Law & Liberty May 17, 2019

The Liberal Sciences and the Lost Arts of Learning

The thrust of the St. John’s program is that final knowledge, while it is held to exist and must be pursued, cannot be possessed.

Law & Liberty May 17, 2019

How the Framers Embraced Conventional Rules and Avoided Substantive Intent

In the Bank debate, the consensus of the Framers coalesced against use of the substantive intent of the Philadelphia convention.

Law & Liberty May 16, 2019

A Strict Separationist Speaks

Separationism's decline began some 40 years ago, in response to ecumenicalism, social welfare legislation, and the rehabilitation of the Catholic Church.

Law & Liberty 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.

Law & Liberty May 16, 2019

Unifying Original Intent and Original Public Meaning

Legal interpretive rules are key to discovering the Constitution’s original meaning.

Law & Liberty May 15, 2019

How the Diversity Mission Has Limited Free Expression on Campus

If the pursuit of truth, is in fact an exercise in exploitation, constraints on free expression become necessary to protect diversity.

Law & Liberty May 15, 2019

Harvard’s Disgrace

Now that the “woke” activists at Harvard—intent on devouring their own—have humiliated an African-American trailblazer, who will be their next target?

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

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

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.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

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.

Liberty 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.

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