Law & Liberty

The Library of Law and 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. Law & Liberty 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 will present 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 August 18, 2017

The Truth-Seeking American

Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803-1876), one of the most prominent public intellectuals in America in the 19th century, is hardly a household name today. The late Peter Augustine Lawler, a brilliant political scientist, saw much of value in Brownson, and thought …

Law & Liberty August 18, 2017

Anatomy of an Economic Revolution

The Industrial Revolution resulted from a repudiation of the ancients—but not just the ancients. The “Great Enrichment” of the late 18th and 19th centuries was a fully “modern” rejection of the cultural inheritance of the Renaissance, to say nothing of …

Law & Liberty August 17, 2017

Does the Right Share the Progressive View of History?

The right and left wings of the Republican and Democratic Parties do not appear to have symmetrical tactics. The right, usually in the House but often in the Senate,  refuses to compromise even when that refusal will generate a worse

Law & Liberty August 17, 2017

Cortisol and Punishment

Even before reading it, I knew in outline what the article in the June 8 New England Journal of Medicine would say. This could be seen from its title: “Heath Effects of Dramatic Societal Events—Ramifications of the Recent Presidential Election.”

Law & Liberty August 17, 2017

Public Meaning Trumpism

If President Trump’s indefensible and equivocating response to Charlottesville demonstrates anything, it is something of which conservatives—and originalists in particular—should have needed no reminder: Words, the vessels of truth for those burdened with this mortal coil and of political life

Law & Liberty August 16, 2017

What Exactly Fuels the Anticapitalism of Pope Francis?

Trust a Jesuit to split hairs. In This Economy Kills: Pope Francis and Social Justice, the Rev. Fr. Professor Diego Alonso-Lasheras SJ of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome is quoted as saying that Evangelii Gaudium, Francis’ first

Law & Liberty August 15, 2017

National Review Nods

Over at National Review, Nicole Gelinas is critical of James Damore’s memo to Google.  It is disturbing that a conservative magazine like National Review should decide to publish a piece making the points that this one does.  If Damore can’t …

Law & Liberty August 15, 2017

Introducing Originalism: A Conversation with Ilan Wurman

Ilan Wurman joins this edition of Liberty Law Talk to discuss his new book, A Debt against the Living: An Introduction to Originalism.…

Law & Liberty August 15, 2017

Showdown Coming over Antidiscrimination Law

A recent prediction in this space turned out to be premature. In my post about the Seventh Circuit’s en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College[1]—which held that the word “sex” in Title VII of the Civil

Law & Liberty August 14, 2017

When Should the Attorney General Change Litigating Positions?

The Department of Justice under Attorney General Sessions has been criticized for changing its positions in litigation from those taken by the Obama administration on such questions as whether Title VII prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Some