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.

Essays

Law & Liberty publishes commentary on legal, political, and cultural issues from a host of contributors.

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.

Liberty Classics

We offer reviews of classic Liberty Fund titles, highlighting their importance for the preservation of liberty and responsibility in a free society.

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Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from Law & Liberty.

Law & Liberty August 22, 2019

Silent Originalism and the Reweighting of Precedent 

The Court’s recent gerrymandering decision recognized Reynolds v. Sims as so flawed in its reasoning as not to deserve mention.

Law & Liberty August 22, 2019

On the Road with Robert Kaplan

We must understand both the can-do spirit of America and the restraints imposed by the realities of a harsh landscape that won’t yield to mere optimism.

Law & Liberty August 21, 2019

A Devils’ Alliance and a Civilizational Failure

During the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the two nations’ secret police shared intelligence. The NKVD turned German communist exiles over to the Gestapo.

Law & Liberty August 21, 2019

Assessing the Faith-Friendly Colleges

Could it be that their purported improvement on this score is just more “bad religion” of the kind that Ross Douthat described?

Law & Liberty August 21, 2019

Frederick Douglass’s “Plea for Freedom of Speech in Boston”

A man’s right to speak does not depend upon where he was born or upon his color. The simple quality of manhood is the solid basis of the right.

Law & Liberty August 20, 2019

Best Boss Ever

Members of the Obama administration have put together a book of “deeply moving stories” that “show us how hope becomes real, sustainable change.”

Law & Liberty August 20, 2019

To Hell and Back

In The Hell of Good Intentions, Stephen Walt tries to draw a false dichotomy between American security and liberal order.

Law & Liberty August 19, 2019

Solidarity and Sentimentalism at the European Commission

What is “They deserve our solidarity,” uttered without any indication of what such solidarity actually entails, if not an empty, sentimental slogan?

Law & Liberty August 19, 2019

Aristotle’s Investigation of the True Meaning of Citizenship

Delba Winthrop asks whether the political disputes depicted by Aristotle were really about first causes.

Law & Liberty August 16, 2019

The Logos of Western Civilization: A Conversation with Sam Gregg

Sam Gregg explores how the West is built on the union of the God of the Philosophers and the God of the Bible.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Law Talk.

Liberty Law Talk August 16, 2019

The Logos of Western Civilization: A Conversation with Sam Gregg

Sam Gregg explores how the West is built on the union of the God of the Philosophers and the God of the Bible.

Liberty Law Talk August 1, 2019

The Politics of Judicial Review: A Conversation with Keith Whittington

Keith Whittington discusses his reassessment of judicial review in his new book Repugnant Laws

Liberty Law Talk July 17, 2019

Liberalism as Armed Doctrine: A Conversation with Philip Hamburger

Philip Hamburger joins us to discuss his new book Liberal Suppression

Liberty Law Talk July 2, 2019

The Delusions of the Ideologue and the Wisdom of the Statesman: A Conversation with Greg Weiner

Greg Weiner returns to Liberty Law Talk to discuss what it means to be an Old Whig.

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.

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Forum.

Liberty Forum August 5, 2019

80th Anniversary of a Poisonous Partnership: Hitler and Stalin

When two dictators divvied up the weaker countries of Europe between them.

Liberty Forum July 1, 2019

Is Legal Conservatism as Accomplished as It Thinks It Is?

If the demolition from the 2016 wrecking ball does not create this change in the legal world, I think it is safe to say the next populist uprising will.

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.

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